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Fr Phillip Pennington Harris
01235 812338

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15 Manor Crescent,    Didcot, Oxfordshire. OX11 7AJ

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English Martyrs

This is the story of the English Martyrs to whom our church is dedicated

Patron SaintsPatron Saints

Our Church celebrates a rich history founded in the story of the English Martyrs who openly proclaimed and defended their faith since the early days of 1534 and who were persecuted for doing so. Our Church is dedicated to honouring these English Martyrs for their bravery and perseverance which has helped to shape and widen our faith today.

From 1534 onwards, a large number of Catholics – priests, religious, lay people were executed under the reign of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I for defending their Roman Catholic faith in different ways.

Henry VIII

Henry married his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon (Spain), then quarrelled with the Church and remarried in which he had a daughter – Elizabeth. He then went on to have a son – Edward – from his third marriage to Anne Seymour. After Henry’s death, Edward ruled from 1547 to 1553 (aged 10 to 16) and was Protestant. After his death, Mary (born 1516) ruled from 1553 to 1558, and was Roman Catholic.

Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth ruled from 1558 to 1601, and at first tried to be a moderate Protestant to avoid conflict. In 1570 the Pope issued new rules for Catholics only to take part in Latin mass and receive sacraments from Catholic priests and chose not to recognise Queen Elizabeth. The English Government reacted by declaring that the saying of mass in Latin was treason.

This sequence of events led to the start of persecution. On the right you can see the list of the names of the 40 Martyrs we honour. Our thanks go to SOCIETAS DOCTRINÆ CHRISTIANÆ for their help with telling this story of our Patron Saints.

If you would like to know more please click here


In 1970 Pope Paul VI Canonised 40 of the English Martyrs (33 English; 7 Welsh) – some clergy, some lay people who suffered martyrdom between 1535 and 1679.

THE CANONISED SAINTS

Members of Religious Orders

Saint John Haughton,
Saint Robert Lawrence,
Saint Augustine Webster,
Saint Richard Reynolds,
Saint John Stone,
Saint Edmund Campion,
Saint Robert Southwell,
Saint Henry Walpole,
Saint John Jones,
Saint Nicholas Owen,
Saint Thomas Garnet,
Saint John Roberts,
Saint Edmund Arrowsmith,
Saint Ambrose Bartlow,
Saint Alban Roe [Rowe],
Saint Henry Morse,
Saint Philip Evans,
Saint John Wall,
Saint David Lewis

Secular priests and lay people:

Saint Cuthbert Mayne,
Saint Ralph Sherwin,
Saint Alexander Briant,
Saint John Payne,
Saint Luke Kirby,
Saint Richard Gwyn,
Saint Margaret Clitherow,
Saint Margaret Ward,
Saint Edmund Gennings,
Saint Swithun Wells,
Saint Eustace White,
Saint Polydore Plasden,
Saint John Boste,
Saint Philip Howard,
Saint John Rigby,
Saint Anne Line,
Saint John Almond,
Saint John Southworth,
Saint John Plessington,
Saint John Lloyd,
Saint John Kemble