Hartley, William, Bl.

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Priest, martyr; b. c. 1557, Wilne (or Wyn), Derbyshire, England; hanged at Shoreditch, Oct. 5, 1588. Having completed his studies at St. John's College, Oxford, the wellborn Hartley became the college's Protestant chaplain. Expelled following his conversion to Catholicism (1579) by Vice Chancellor Tobie Mathew, Hartley fled to Rheims on the Continent. He was ordained priest at Châlons (1580), then returned to England, where he assisted Jesuit Frs. Edmund campion and Robert persons in printing and distributing their books. He was arrested Aug. 13, 1581, and sent to Marshalsea Prison, London. There he was discovered saying Mass and was placed in irons (Dec. 5, 1583). Although he was indicted for high treason on Feb. 7, 1584, he was never brought to trial. Instead he was sent into exile the following January. After time for recuperation in Rheims, he made a pilgrimage to Rome then returned to the English mission. He was arrested in Holborn (London) in September 1588 and executed the following month together with Bl. Fr. John hewett, son of a York draper; Bl. Robert Sutton, a tutor or schoolmaster in Paternoster Row, London; and John Harrison, alias Symons, who had carried letters between the priests. Harrison, unjustly accused of being a spy, has been dropped from the rolls of English martyrs in part because of confusion with Matthias or James Harrison, priests, who suffered martyrdom in 1599 or 1602 respectively. Hartley was beatified by Pius XI on Dec. 15, 1929.

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

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

Bibliography: t. w. baldwin, William Shakespeare Adapts a Hanging (Princeton 1931) 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), 272.

[k. i. rabenstein]

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Hartley, William, Bl.

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