Filcock, Roger, Bl.
FILCOCK, ROGER, BL.
Jesuit priest, martyr; alias Roger Nayler, Roger Arthur; b. ca. 1570 at Sandwich, Kent, England; d. Feb. 27, 1601, hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn (London). He studied at Rheims (1588–90) and at St. Alban's Seminary, Valladolid, where he was ordained (ca. 1597). He applied to enter the Jesuits in Spain but was sent instead to the English Mission. En route he was captured at sea by the Dutch, but escaped to Kent in early 1598. Under the alias Roger Arthur he began his two–year ministry. Shortly after being admitted to the Society of Jesus by Fr. Henry garnet, Filcock was betrayed by someone who had known him as a student at Valladolid, arrested (summer 1600), and imprisoned at Newgate before he could undertake his novitiate in Flanders. He was charged with being a priest on Feb. 23, 1601, and indicted three days later. The judge directed the jury to find him guilty of high treason although there was no evidence against him. When he and his former classmate at Valladolid, St. Mark barkworth, were taken to the gallows for execution, they found that St. Anne line, for whom Filcock had acted as confessor, had just been executed. At the gallows Filcock denied treason, but admitted that he was "a Catholic, a priest, and a member of the Society of Jesus." 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); Dec. 1 (Jesuits).
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). j. n. tylenda, Jesuit Saints & Martyrs (Chicago 1998) 65–66. d. de yepes, Historia Particular de la persecución de Inglaterra (Madrid 1599).
[k. i. rabenstein]