Bretton, John, Bl.

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Martyr; b. ca. 1529 in West Bretton (near Barnsley), Yorkshire, England; d. April 1, 1598, hanged at York. Born into an old Catholic family, Bretton was the father of a daughter and four sons, one of whom was probably Dr. Matthew Britton, prefect and professor at Douai in 1599. An ardent Catholic, John was often separated from his wife and family, owing to the constant persecution that he suffered for his faith. He was convicted and fined several times for recusancy. In later life he was maliciously and falsely accused of traitorous speeches against the queen and condemned to death. Upon refusing to renounce his faith he was executed for high treason against Elizabeth I. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on Nov. 22, 1987 with George Haydock and Companions.

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

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

Bibliography: r. challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, ed. j. h. pollen (rev. ed. London 1924). j. h. pollen, Acts of English Martyrs (London 1891).

[k. i. rabenstein]