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William Carter (martyr)

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Blessed William Carter
Born 1548, London, England
Died 1584, Tyburn, London, England
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast January 11

Blessed William Carter (c. 1548 - 11 January 1584) was a Roman Catholic English printer and martyr.

Biography

William was born in London, 1548; suffered for treason at Tyburn on 11 January, 1584. Son of John Carter, a draper, and Agnes, his wife, he was apprenticed to John Cawood, queen's printer, on Candlemas Day, 1563, for ten years, and afterwards acted as secretary to Nicholas Harpsfield, last Catholic archdeacon of Canterbury, then a prisoner.

On the latter's death he married and set up a press on Tower Hill. Among other Catholic books he printed a new edition (1000 copies) of Dr. Gregory Martin's "A Treatise of Schism", in 1580, for which he was at once arrested and imprisoned in the Gatehouse. Before this he had been in the Poultry Compter--a small prison run by a Sheriff in the City of London--from 23 September to 28 October, 1578. He was transferred to the Tower, 1582, and paid for his own diet there down to midsummer, 1583. Having been tortured on the rack, he was indicted at the Old Bailey--the central criminal court in England--on 10 January 1584, for having printed Dr. Martin's book, in which was a paragraph where confidence was expressed that the Catholic Hope would triumph, and pious Judith would slay Holofernes. This was interpreted as an incitement to slay the queen, though it obviously had no such meaning.

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