Richard Thirkeld (b. at Coniscliffe, Durham, England; d. at York, 29 May 1583) was an English Roman Catholic priest. He is a Catholic martyr.


From Queen's College, Oxford, where he was in 1564-5, he went to Reims, where he was ordained priest, 18 April, 1579.

He left 23 May for the English mission, where he ministered in or about York, and acted as confessor to Margaret Clitheroe. On the eve of the Annunciation, 1583, he was arrested while visiting one of the Catholic prisoners in Ousebridge Kidcote, York. He at once confessed his priesthood, both to the pursuivants, who arrested him, and to the mayor before whom he was brought, and for the night was lodged in the house of the high sheriff. The next day his trial took place, at which he managed to appear in cassock and biretta.

The charge was one of having reconciled the Queen's subjects to the Church of Rome. He was found guilty on 27 May and condemned 28 May.

Six of his letters survive, and were summarized by Bede Camm.

This article incorporates text from the entry Bl. Richard Thirkeld in Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

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