Southerne, William, Bl.

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Priest, martyr; b. c. 1579 at Ketton, Co. Durham; d. April 30, 1618 at Newcastle-under-Lyme under James I. Following his studies at Douai and Valladolid, he was ordained and returned to England. There he worked for 14 years, primarily among the poor of Staffordshire, particularly at Baswich, which then belonged to a branch of the Fowler family. He was arrested while saying Mass and sentenced in his vestments for being a priest and refusing the Oath of Supremacy. He remained in Stafford prison for six days after his condemnation because no one was willing to hang him. Finally he was strangled, then drawn and quartered. His head was stuck on one of the gates of Stafford. 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]

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Southerne, William, Bl.

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Southerne, William, Bl.