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John Story

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Blessed John Story
Martyr
Born 1504, Northern England
Died 1571, Tyburn, London, England
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 1886, Rome by Pope Leo XIII
Feast June 1

Blessed John Story (or Storey) (1504 - June 1, 1571), English Roman Catholic martyr, born in Northern England, was educated at the University of Oxford, where he became lecturer on civil law in 1535, being made later principal of Broadgates Hall, afterwards Pembroke College.[1]

He appears to have temporarily abjured his Roman Catholic beliefs just after the accession of King Edward VI; however, having been chosen a member of parliament for Hindon in Wiltshire in 1547, he gained notoriety by his opposition to the Act of Uniformity in 1548. For crying out "Woe unto thee, O land, when thy king is a child," Story was imprisoned by the House of Commons, but he was soon released and went into exile.

Returning to England in 1553, he assigned his interest in his position at Oxford, which was now that of Regius Professor of civil law, and was made chancellor of the dioceses of London and of Oxford and dean of arches. Queen Mary being now on the throne, Story was one of her most active agents in prosecuting heresy, and was one of her proctors at the trial of Thomas Cranmer at Oxford in 1555.

Under Queen Elizabeth, he was again returned to Parliament, but in 1560, he underwent a short imprisonment for boasting about his work in the former reign. In 1563, he was again arrested, but managed to escape to Flanders, where he became a pensioner of King Philip II. The Duke of Alva authorized him to exclude certain classes of books from the Netherlands and, in 1570, while engaged in this work, he was decoyed on to a ship at Antwerp and conveyed to Yarmouth.

In spite of his claim that he was a Spanish subject, he was tried for high treason. He was condemned on May 2, 1571. He was executed at Tyburn by being hanged, drawn and quartered on the 1st of June 1571.[2]

The spectacle of his trial moved St. Edmund Campion, who was present, to reconsider both his own position and his Catholic duty. In 1886, John Story was beatified by Pope Leo XIII owing to a papal decree originally approved by Pope Gregory XVI in 1859.

References

  1. Wikisource-logo.svg "Bl. John Story". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Bl._John_Story. 
  2. JOHN STOREY online at saints.sqpn.com (accessed 23 February 2008)

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