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Charles Mahoney

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Charles Mahoney (Mahony; alias Meehan) (b. after 1639; executed at Ruthin, Denbighshire, 12 August 1679) was an Irish Franciscan. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1987.


The documentary evidence is scanty. The British Museum has a copy of a single sheet entitled The Last Speeches of Three Priests that were Executed for Religion, Anno Domini 1679, from which the following transcript is made:-

"An Account of the words spoken by Mr. Charles Mahony, an Irish Priest of the holy Order of St. Francis, who was Executed in his Habit at Ruthin in North Wales, August 12, 1679. Now God Almighty is pleased I should suffer Martyrdom, his Holy Name be praised, since I dye for my Religion. But you have no Right to put me to death in this Country, though I confessed myself to be a Priest, for you seized me as I was going to my Native Country Ireland, being driven at Sea on this Coast, for I never used my Function in England before I was taken, however God forgive you, as I do and shall always pray for you, especially for those that were so good to me in my distress, I pray God bless our King, and defend him from his Enemies, and convert him to the Holy Catholick Faith, Amen. His Age was under Forty, He was tryed and Condemned at Denby [i.e. Denbigh] Confessing himself to be a Priest."

Richard Challoner based his account on this single sheet, but may have had another source, now lost


  • Richard Challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, II, no. 205;
  • Joseph Gillow, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath. IV, 392;
  • Richard Stanton, A Menology of England and Wales (London, 1887);
  • Anne Fulton Hope, Franciscan Martyrs in England (London, 1878), 240;
  • George Oliver, Collections illustrating the History of the Catholic Religion (London, 1857);
  • Thaddeus, Franciscans in England (London and Leamington, 1898), 52, 71, 101.

This article incorporates text from the entry Ven. Charles Mahony in Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

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