Lacey, William, Bl.

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Priest and martyr; b. Horton, near Settle, West Riding, Yorkshire, England; d. hanged, drawn, and quartered at York, Aug. 22, 1582. William Lacey, a gentleman who held a distinguished position under the Crown until c. 1565, was step-father to two sons, Arthur and Joseph Cresswell, who became Jesuits. For 14 years he and his wife suffered persecution as recusants, including imprisonment at Hull. After the death of his wife, Lacey studied at the English College in Rheims (158081) and, under a special dispensation because he had been married twice, was ordained priest at Rome in 1581. He visited Loreto (May 10, 1581) en route back to England. The following year he was arrested in York Castle (July 22, 1582) after hearing a Mass said by the soon-to-be apostate Thomas Bell. After enduring the hardships of imprisonment in a dungeon, he was arraigned (August 11), condemned, and confined until his death. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on Dec. 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, 56488. r. challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, ed. j. h. pollen (rev. ed. London 1924; repr. Farnborough 1969), I, 1617. j. h. pollen, Acts of English Martyrs (London 1891).

[k. i. rabenstein]