Watkinson, Thomas, Bl.

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Lay martyr; b. at Hemingborough or Menthrope, Yorkshire, England; d. May 31, 1591, hanged at York. He was a Catholic of the lesser nobility who is described as a widower with a family and as cleric; he may have been in minor orders. Watkinson lived a solitary life and assisted the seminary priests out of his devotion to Christ. He was arrested when Bl. Robert thorpe was discovered in his home on Palm Sunday 1595. He was charged with harboring a priest, but was offered clemency if he would worship in the state church. He refused and was executed. 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]