Exmew, William, Bl.

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Carthusian priest, martyr; d. hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, London, England, June 19, 1535. William studied Classics at Christ's College, Cambridge, before joining the Carthusians at the London Charter-house, where he soon became vicar. The year he was named procurator (1534), Henry VIII sought the express acknowledgment from the Carthusians and other prominent subjects of the validity of his marriage to Anne Boleyn and the right of their children to succeed to the throne. Their refusal led to the execution of their prior, St. John houghton (May 4, 1535). Two days after Houghton's death, Exmew and the vicar Humphrey middlemore were denounced to Thomas Cromwell by Thomas Bedyll, a royal commissioner, as being "obstinately determined to suffer all extremities rather than to alter their opinion" in regard to papal supremacy in spiritual matters. Both were thrown into Marshalsea prison three weeks later together with their fellow monk Sebastian newdigate. For 13 days they were manacled in a standing position to a post. Then they were taken to the Tower of London, tried at Westminster (June 11), and condemned to death for high treason for denying Henry's claim to supremacy over the Church of England. Exmew was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on Dec. 9, 1886.

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). l. hendriks, London Charterhouse: Its Monks and Its Martyrs (London 1889). j. h. pollen, Acts of English Martyrs (London 1891).

[k. i. rabenstein]