Knight, William, Bl.
KNIGHT, WILLIAM, BL.
Lay martyr; b. c. 1572 at South Duffield, Hemingbrough, Yorkshire, England; d. Nov. 29, 1596, hanged, drawn, and quartered at York. On coming of age he claimed from his Protestant uncle property left to him by his father, Leonard Knight. When his uncle denounced him to the authorities for being a Catholic, he was immediately arrested. In October 1593, Knight was remanded to York Castle, where BB. William gibson and George errington were already confined. A certain Protestant clergyman, also a prisoner, arranged to gain his freedom by feigning a desire to become a Catholic. He won the confidence of Knight and his two companions, who explained the faith to him. With the connivance of the authorities, he was directed to Bl. Henry abbot, then at liberty, who endeavored to find a priest to reconcile him to the Church. Thereupon Abbot was arrested and, together with Knight and his two comrades, sentenced to death for persuading the clergyman to embrace Catholicism—an act of treason under the penal laws. 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).
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).
[k. i. rabenstein]