Hart, William, Bl.

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Priest and martyr; b. Wells, Somerset, England, 1558; d. hanged, drawn, and quartered at York, March 15, 1583. Hart was elected Trappes Scholar at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he took he baccalaureate in June 1574. Thereafter he converted to Catholicism and followed his rector, John Bridgewater, to the seminary at Douai, then Rheims. He finished his studies at the English College, Rome, and was ordained (1581). Almost immediately he entered the English mission, where he labored in Yorkshire. He escaped the priest hunters who arrested Bl. William lacey only by standing in the chin-high, muddy moat of York Castle. Finally he was betrayed on Christmas Day 1582. After being manacled in double irons in a verminous dungeon, he was examined by the dean of York and Council of the North. He was tried on three counts: (1) under 13 Eliz. c. 2 for bringing papal writings (his certificate of ordination) into the realm; (2) under 13 Eliz. c. 3. for traveling abroad without royal license; and (3) under 23 Eliz. c. 1. for having reconciled others to popery. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on December 9, 1886.

Feast of the English Martyrs: May 4 (England).

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

Bibliography: b. camm, ed., Lives of the English Martyrs, (New York 1905), II, 60034. 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]