Robert Dalby (died 1589) was an English Catholic priest and martyr. He came from Hemingbrough in the East Riding of Yorkshire and lived at first as a Protestant minister. Becoming a Catholic, he entered the English College at Rheims on September 30, 1586 to study for the priesthood. He was ordained a priest at Châlons on April 16, 1588. It was on August 25 that year that he set out for England. He was arrested almost immediately upon landing at Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast and imprisoned in York Castle. Given the 1585 Act making it a capital offence to be a Catholic priest in England the terrible sentence of hanging, drawing and quartering was inevitable. It was carried out outside the city of York on March 16, 1589. His fate was shared by a fellow priest, known to us as John Amias. On arrival at the place of execution the prisoners prostrated themselves in prayer. Robert Dalby had to watch his fellow priest be hanged and quartered before his own turn came, but he displayed no hesitation in going to his death. Both priests were declared Blessed (the last stage prior to sainthood) by Pope Pius XI on December 15, 1929.


The most reliable compact source is Godfrey Anstruther, Seminary Priests, St Edmund's College, Ware, vol. 1, 1968, p. 96.

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