Pormort, Thomas, Bl.

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Priest, martyr; alias Whitgift, Price, Meres; b. c. 1560 at Little Limber, Lincolnshire, England; d. Feb. 20, 1592, hanged, drawn, and quartered in St. Paul's churchyard, London. He was probably related to the Pormort family of Great Grimsby and was the godson of Protestant Archbishop Whitgift. He studied at Cambridge for a short time, then at Rheims (158182), and Rome (158287). After his ordination, he entered the household of Bishop Owen Lewis of Cassano (March 1587) and served as prefect of studies in the Swiss College at Milan for a time before starting off for England. Upon reaching Brussels around Nov. 29, 1590, he used the name Whitgift to obtain a job as manservant to Mrs. Geoffrey Pole, traveling with her via Antwerp to England, where he was arrested in London on July 25, 1591. He managed to escape but was arrested again and convicted on high treason for having "persuaded to popery" a haberdasher named John Burrows. Archbishop Whitgift endeavored to delay the execution in order to persuade his godson to conform but without success. 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: Harleian Society Publications, LII (London, 1904), 790. r. challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, ed. j.h. pollen (rev. ed. London 1924), I, no. 95. j. h. pollen, English Martyrs (London 1908), 18790, 2082, 20810, 292; Acts of the English Martyrs (London 1891), 11820.

[k. i. rabenstein]