Dean, William, Bl.

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Priest, martyr; b. Linton-in-Craven, Yorkshire, England; hanged at Mile End Green, London, Aug. 28, 1588. William Dean was a Protestant minister prior to his conversion to Catholicism. Thereafter, he studied at the English College of Rheims and was ordained at Soissons, France, Dec. 21, 1581, with fellow martyrs BB. George haydock and Robert nutter. The following month he left for the English mission. He ministered successfully for several years until he was captured in 1585 and exiled in Normandy. Although he knew that certain death awaited him in England, he quickly returned. He was arrested, tried, and condemned for his priesthood, Aug. 22, 1588. He was among the 27 Catholics executed in retribution for the failure of the Spanish Armada, despite the loyalty of English Catholics manifested during the crisis. At the time of the execution, Dean tried to speak to the people, "but his mouth was stopped by some that were in the cart, in such a violent manner that they were like to have prevented the hangman of his wages." 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: r. challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, ed. j. h. pollen (rev. ed. London 1924; repr. Farnborough 1969), I, 209. j. morris, ed., The Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers Related by Themselves (London 187277), II, 72, 156, 157. j. h. pollen, Acts of English Martyrs (London 1891).

[k. i. rabenstein]