Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors – Venerable William Pikes, Layman, 1591

main article for Blessed William PikeArticle

He was born at Parley, near Christchurch, Hampshire, and became a joiner by trade in the town of Dorchester. He was put on his trial for having spoken in prison too freely in favour of the Catholic religion. The “bloody” question about the Pope’s supremacy was put to him, and he frankly confessed that he maintained the authority of the Roman See, and he was condemned to die a traitor’s death. When they asked him, as is their wont, whether to save his life and family he would recant, he boldly replied that it did not become a son of Mr. Pilchard to do so. “Did that traitor, then, pervert you?” asked the judge. “That holy priest of God and true martyr of Christ,” he replied, “taught me the truth of the Catholic Faith.” Asked when he first met him, “It was on a journey,” said he, “returning from this city.” He was hanged at Dorchester in 1591, and cut down alive. Being a very able, strong man, when the executioners came to throw him on the block to quarter him, he stood upon his feet, on which the sheriff’s men overmastering him threw him down and pinned his hands fast to the ground with their halberts, and so the butchery was performed.

MLA Citation

  • Father Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Venerable William Pikes, Layman, 1591”. Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 April 2019. Web. 19 November 2019. <>