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Stephen Rowsham

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Stephen Rowsham (Rousham, Rouse) was an English Catholic priest, executed on 3 April 1587[1]. He is a Catholic martyr, and was beatified by Pope John Paul in 1987[2].


A native of Oxfordshire, born c. 1555[3], he entered Oriel College, Oxford, in 1572. He took Anglican orders, and was minister at the University Church about 1578.

Becoming convinced of the truth of the Catholic religion he went to the English College, Douai[3] and Reims (23 April, 1581), where he was ordained priest, and sent on the English mission (30 April, 1582). Being recognized almost immediately on his landing, he was apprehended and sent to the Tower of London, 19 May, 1582, and remained a prisoner for more than three years, during half of which time (14 August, 1582, until 12 February, 1584) he was confined to the dungeon known as the "Little Ease". On the latter date he was transferred to the Marshalsea, from which prison he was carried into exile in the autumn of 1585.

He arrived at Reims, 8 October, but set out from England again, 7 February, 1586. The field of his labours, which were continued for about a year, was in the west of England. He was taken at the house of the Widow Strange in Gloucester. His trial and martyrdom were at Gloucester in March, 1586-87.



  1. Great Britain (4)
  2. Parish History
  3. 3.0 3.1 Clifton Diocese | Beatified Martyrs of the Clifton Diocese

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

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