Wharton, Christopher, Bl.

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Priest, martyr; b. ca. 1540 at Middleton, Yorkshire, England; hanged, drawn, and quartered Nov. 28, 1600 at York. The second son of Henry Wharton and Agnes Warcop, he received the master's degree from Trinity College, Oxford (1564), then became a fellow. In February 1583, he began seminary studies at Rheims. He continued his studies for two years after ordination (1584) before returning to England in the company of Bl. Edward burden. After 13 years of labor in difficult circumstances, he was arrested with the widow Eleanor Hunt in her home and incarcerated in York Castle. They were tried at the Lenten assizes in 1600, condemned, and refused life in exchange for conformity to the state church. Hunt died in prison while Wharton heroically suffered the fate of those convicted of treason. Wharton was known for his humility and charity. 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. morris, ed., The Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers Related by Themselves, 3 v. (London 187277), III, 462. j. h. pollen, Acts of English Martyrs (London 1891).

[k. i. rabenstein]

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Wharton, Christopher, Bl.

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