Robert Thorpe (b. in Yorkshire; executed at York, 15 May 1591) was an English Roman Catholic priest. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1987.


He reached the English College at Reims 1 March 1584, was ordained deacon in December following, and priest by Cardinal Louis de Guise in April, 1585. He was sent on the English mission, 9 May 1585.

He was active in Yorkshire. He was arrested in bed very early on Palm Sunday, 1595, at the house of Thomas Watkinson, at Menthorpe in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Someone had seen palms being gathered the night before, and informed John Gates of Howden, the nearest justice of the peace.

Watkinson, an old Catholic yeoman who lived a solitary life, is described by John Cecil as a clerk, so it is possible he was in minor orders. Thorpe was condemned as a traitor for being a Catholic priest, and was hanged, drawn, and quartered. Watkinson, condemned as a felon for harbouring priests, was hanged. He was offered his life if he would go to church.


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

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