Hambley, John, Bl.

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Priest, martyr; b. c. 1560 at St. Mabyn, Bodmin, Cornwall, England; d. July 20 (?), 1587, hanged, drawn, and quartered at Salisbury. He was a Protestant who was converted by reading one of Fr. Persons' books in 1582. He took up seminary studies at Rheims, and was ordained at Laon (Sept. 22, 1584). The following year he returned home and worked in the Western Counties. On his way to witness a wedding, he was betrayed and captured around Easter 1586. He was tried and condemned at Taunton, but saved his life for the moment by denying his faith, then managed to break prison, and fled to Salisbury. The following August, however, Hambley was found during a methodical search of Catholic homes on the eve of the Assumption. Again his resolve wavered; he offered conformity and the names of most of his Catholic friends, and was released. Around Easter 1587 he was apprehended a third time and pledged conformity, but recovered quickly, confessed his faith, and suffered "manfully, and inveighing much against his former fault." In this final test, encouragement came from his fellow inmate, Bl. Thomas Pilchard. Hambley 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). d. de yepes, Historia Particular de la persecución de Inglaterra (Madrid 1599).

[k. i. rabenstein]