Blessed Thomas Belson (b. at Brill in Oxfordshire, England, date uncertain; executed 5 July 1589) was an English Roman Catholic layman. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1987.


He studied at St Mary's Hall, Oxford, part of Oriel College, but did not take the B. A.; and then at the Catholic seminary in Reims. In 1584 he returned to England, was arrested, and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Eventually, in 1586, he was banished.[1]

In 1589 he was again arrested, at the Catherine Wheel Inn, near Balliol College, Oxford. He was with his confessor George Nicols, Richard Yaxley, a priest, and Humphrey Prichard, a servant. They were sent to London, whence, after examination before Walsingham and repeated tortures in Bridewell and the Tower, they were sent back to Oxford to be tried.

Belson was found guilty of felony for assisting the priests, and was executed with his companions at Oxford.


  • Diego de Yepes, Historia Particular de la persecucion de Inglaterra (Madrid, 1599);
  • Richard Challoner, Memoirs;
  • Thomas Francis Knox, Douay Diaries;
  • Mrs Bryan Stapleton, Post-Reformation Catholic Missions in Oxfordshire (London, 1906)


  1. Thomas Belson

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

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