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James Thompson (martyr)

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Blessed James Thompson, also known as James Hudson, was a Catholic priest and martyr of York, hanged during the reign of Elizabeth I.

Thompson arrived at in Rheims on September 19, 1580. In the following May, he and a Nicholas Fox were admitted to Soissons and made priests within twelve days of their admittance. While all this occurred, he was so ill he could barely stand up.

He was sent on his mission that August, and was arrested in York a year later, on August 11, 1582. When he was taken before the Council of the North, he openly confessed to his being a priest. This astonished all of his friends, because they knew he had been gone for less than an entire year. He was shackled and imprisoned--first in a private jail, until his money ran out, and then in York Castle.

He was condemned on November 25, 1582, and was hanged at the Knavesmire three days later. He protested the entire time that he had never plotted against the queen, and that he died in and for Catholic faith. While he was hanging, he raised his hands to heaven, then beat his chest with his right hand, before he finally made the sign of cross and died. In spite of his sentence, he was neither disemboweled nor quartered, but was buried under the gallows.

This article incorporates text from the entry Blessed James Thompson in Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.


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