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Robert Sutton (priest)

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Robert Sutton (b. at Burton-on-Trent; executed at Stafford, 27 July 1587) was an English Roman Catholic priest. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1987.


He took the degree of M. A. from Christ Church, Oxford, 9 July, 1567, and became Rector of Lutterworth, Leicestershire, in 1571. He was converted to Catholicism by his younger brother William, afterwards a Jesuit. With his younger brother Abraham, who matriculated from Hart Hall in 1576, aged 25, he arrived at Douai, 23 March, 1575 (1576). They were both ordained subdeacons at Cambrai in September, deacons in December, and priests in the following February. Having said their first Masses, 7 March, they left for England, 19 March, 1577 (1578).

Robert was arrested at Stafford, and condemned for being a Catholic priest. Hanged, drawn and quartered, he was cut down alive. After the lapse of a year Catholics managed to secure one of his quarters, when the thumb and index-finger were found to be intact. Abraham Sutton gave Father John Gerard the thumb, later presented to Stonyhurst College.


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

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