Barkworth, Mark, Bl.

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Benedictine priest, martyr; alias Lambert; b. Searby, Lincolnshire, England, c. 1572; d. hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn (London), Feb. 27, 1601. Following his conversion to Catholicism at Douai (1594), the Oxford-educated Barkworth studied for the priesthood at the English College in Valladolid (159699), where he was ordained. Thereafter he left for the English mission in the company of St. Thomas garnet. During a stopover at the Benedictine Abbey of Hyrache in Navarre, he became a Benedictine Oblate (with the privilege of making profession at the hour of death). This was a great desire of his because of an earlier vision he had of St. Benedict. Although he escaped death at the hands of the Protestants in La Rochelle, France, he was arrested upon landing in England and imprisoned at Newgate for six months, then moved to Bridewell. The tall, burly priest staunchly defended the faith under examination. As a result he was condemned and thrown into Newgate's dungeon, where he remained cheerful, even singing en route to his execution. Dressed in the Benedictine habit, he told the crowd: "I am come here to die, being a Catholic, a priest, and a religious man, belonging to the Order of St. Benedict; it was by this same order that England was converted." After his quartering a witness held up one of Barkworth's legs with its knee hardened by constant kneeling and said, "Which of you Gospellers can show such a knee?" He was beatified by Pius XI on Dec. 15, 1929.

Feast of the English Martyrs: May 4 (England).

See Also: england, scotland, and wales, martyrs of.

Bibliography: b. camm, A Benedictine Martyr in England (London 1897). r. challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, ed. j. h. pollen (rev. ed. London 1924; repr. Farnborough 1969). j. h. pollen, Acts of English Martyrs (London 1891).

[k. i. rabenstein]