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William Way

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The Venerable William Way (alias May, alias Flower) (died 1588) was an English priest and martyr.

Way was born in the Diocese of Exeter; Bishop Richard Challoner said he was born in Cornwall, and earlier authorities say in Devonshire.

Way is frequently confused with others. These include:

Way received his first tonsure in the Cathedral of Reims from the Cardinal of Guise on 31 March 1584, and was ordained subdeacon, 22 March; deacon 5 April; and priest 18 September 1586, at Laon, probably by Bishop Valentine Douglas, O.S.B.

Way set out for England on 9 December 1586, and in June 1587, had been imprisoned. He was indicted at Newgate in September, 1588, for being a Roman Catholic priest. He declined to be tried by a secular judge, whereupon the Bishop of London was sent for. Way, refusing to acknowledge him as a bishop or Elizabeth I as head of the Church, was immediately condemned.

He was much given to abstinence and austerity. When he was not among the first of those to be tried at the Sessions in August, he wept and, fearing he had offended God, went at once to confession, "but when he himself was sent for, he had so much joy that he seemed past himself".

On 23 September 1588 Way was "hung, drawn and quartered" at Kingston upon Thames.

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

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