Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors – Sir Thomas Percy, 1536


In October 1536, from the Scottish Borders to the Humber, the good staunch Catholics of the North flocked to the banners of the Pilgrimage of Grace. Second in command under Aske, leading the vanguard of six thousand men under the banner of Saint Cuthbert, rode Sir Thomas Percy, brother of the Earl of Northumberland. They marched, some forty thousand strong, into Yorkshire, and Henry quailed be fore the pilgrims, though his forces were large. By deceitfully promising the redress of their grievances he cajoled them into dispersing and returning home. But in the next spring, on their re-assembling, he despatched more numerous troops to the Duke of Norfolk, his lieutenant, who succeeded in securing their leaders. Sir Thomas, though he surrendered, was taken to Westminster, tried, and hanged with, amongst other supposed leaders, the Abbot of Jervaulx and the Dominican Friar John Pickering. They suffered “because, as false traitors, they conspired to deprive the King of his royal dignity, viz. of being on earth the Supreme Head of the Church in England.”

Thus, though not among the Beatified, they died for the faith.

MLA Citation

  • Father Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Sir Thomas Percy, 1536”. Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 April 2019. Web. 26 July 2021. <>