Blessed Thomas Cottam

stained glass window of Blessed Thomas Cottam, church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs in Cambridge, England; swiped with permission from the account of Father Lawrence Lew, OPMemorial


Son of Laurence Cottam and Anne Brewer; raised in a Protestant family. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, England, receiving a Master of Arts on 14 July 1572. Master of a grammar school in London, England. Adult convert to Catholicism. Studied at Douai, France, and at Rome, Italy. Deacon at Cambrai, France in December 1577. Joined the Jesuits in Rome on 8 April 1579 in hopes of becoming a missionary to India. Ordained on 28 May 1580 at Soissons, France. Returned to England in June 1580 to recuperate following a severe fever. Arrested at his landing in Dover for the crime of priesthood. He was imprisoned in Marshalsea, and it is likely that celebrated his first Mass in prison. Tortured and then transferred to the Tower of London for additional abuse. Condemned to death on 16 November 1581. Martyr.




Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Thomas Cottam“. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 June 2020. Web. 27 November 2021. <>