May 29 - Blessed Richard Thirkeld

Quick Facts
  • Educated at Queen's College, Oxford, 1564-1565.
  • Studied at Douai and Rheims, France.
  • Ordained on 18 April 1579 at an age somewhat older than his confreres.
  • Returned to England on 23 May 1579 as a home missioner around York.
  • Confessor to Saint Margaret Clitherow.
  • Arrested on Annunciation Eve in 1583 for the crime of priesthood; the authorities became suspicious when he visited a Catholic prisoner.
  • Lodged in Ousebridge Kidcote prison, York, for two months.
  • He wore a cassock to trial, was convicted on 27 May 1583 of hearing confessions and bringing the lapsed back to the Church, and was sentenced on 28 May 1583 to death.
  • He used his time in jail to minister to other prisoners, working especially with others sentenced to death.
  • Martyred in secret for fear his covert parishioners would cause a civil disturbance.Six of his letters have survived