Catholic Encyclopedia – Venerable Edward Waterson


Born at London; martyred at Newcastle-on-Tyne, 7 January 1594 (1593 old style). A romantic episode marks this martyr’s early career, for as a young man he travelled to Turkey with some English merchants, and attracted the attention of a wealthy Turk, who offered him his daughter in marriage if he would embrace Moslemism. Rejecting the offer with horror, Edward Waterson returned westward through Italy and, coming to Rome, was there reconciled to the Catholic Church by Richard Smith, afterwards Bishop of Chalcedon. The Pilgrim-book of the English College records his stay there, 29 November-11 December 1588. He then went to Reims to study for the priesthood, arriving there 24 January 1589. He received the tonsure and minor orders on 18 August 1590, subdiaconate on 21 September 1591, diaconate on 24 February 1592, and the priesthood 11 March following. On 24 June he returned to England, with such zeal for the missions that he declared to his companions that if he might have the Kingdom of France to stay there till the next midsummer he would rather choose to go to England. Though he was not learned, his humility, sprit of penance, and other virtues caused him to be reagarded as a pattern. Captured at midsummer, 1593, he was cruelly treated in prison till his execution. Incidents occurred at the martyrdom of a miraculous nature. The horses were unable to drag the hurdle to the scaffold and the ladder was mysteriously agitated by invisible means, till the martyr signed it with the cross.

MLA Citation

  • Edwin Burton. “Venerable Edward Waterson”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 January 2013. Web. 1 August 2021. <>