Bell, James, Bl.

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Marian priest, martyr; b. ca. 1520, Warrington, Lancashire, England; hanged, drawn, and quartered April 20, 1584. Bell, who studied at Oxford, was ordained to the priesthood during the reign of Queen Marty, but conformed to the Anglican Church at the ascension of Elizabeth I. Two decades later he could no longer minister in good conscience and was reduced to near destitution. He was finally reconciled to the Catholic Church. Once his faculties were restored, he worked for two years prior to his arrest Jan. 17, 1584. He was arraigned at Manchester and tried at the Lancaster Assizes in March 1584. At his sentencing he told the judge: "I beg your Lordship would add to the sentence that my lips and the tops of my fingers may be cut off, for having sworn and subscribed to the articles of heretics contrary both to my conscience and to God's Truth." 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: bridgewater, Concertatio ecclesi'Catholic'in Anglia (n.s. 1588). 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). d. de yepes, Historia Particular de la persecución de Inglaterra (Madrid 1599).

[k. i. rabenstein]

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Bell, James, Bl.

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