Faringdon, Hugh, Bl.

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Benedictine priest, abbot of Reading, martyr; vere Cook; b. Faringdon (?), Berkshire, England; d. hanged, drawn, and quartered at Reading, Nov. 15, 1539. Hugh, who bore the arms of Cook of Kent, was elected abbot of Reading Abbey in July 1520. He was well-known to Henry VIII as demonstrated by his hosting of the king in January 1521, appointment as a royal chaplain, and receipt of a valuable white leather purse as a New Year's gift from the king in 1532. Faringdon was a member of Parliament (152339) when he signed the articles of faith (1536), which virtually acknowledge the royal supremacy. He even sang the Requiem Mass for Queen Jane Seymour (Nov. 4, 1537) and was present for her burial (November 12). Despite these and other signs of a close relationship with the king, he was charged with high treason upon refusing to surrender Reading to the king (1539). Despite his position as a mitred abbot, Chancellor Thomas Cromwell passed Faringdon's death sentence before his trial began. He was executed with BB. John Eynon and John rugg. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on May 13, 1895.

Feast of the English Martyrs: May 4 (England); Dec. 1 (Dioceses of Portsmouth and Westminster; English Benedictines).

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

Bibliography: b. camm, ed., Lives of the English Martyrs, (New York 1904), I, 33887. 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).

[k. i. rabenstein]