Beche, John, Bl.
BECHE, JOHN, BL.
Abbot executed by Henry VIII, also known as Thomas Becbe or Marshall; b. c. 1500; d. Dec. 1, 1539. He received a B.D. at Oxford (1509). He was first a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Chester. In 1533 he was elected abbot of St. John's Colchester, and he took the Oath of Supremacy in the following year. In 1538, however, he refused to surrender his abbey to the Crown, which in 1539 sought evidence of Beche's treason in order to secure his domain. He was indicted for denying the royal supremacy and sent to the Tower of London. He made a complete retraction of this denial but was tried for treason on Dec. 1, 1539, found guilty, and condemned. There is no evidence that he ever reasserted belief in the papal primacy, not even after condemnation.
Feast: Dec. 1.
See Also: england, scotland, and wales, martyrs of.
Bibliography: d. knowles, The Religious Orders in England 3:376, 491. j. e. paul, "The Last Abbots of Reading and Colchester," Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 33 (1960) 115–121.
[j. e. paul]