Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors – Venerable John Hambley, Priest, 1587

main article for Blessed John HambleyArticle

A native of Somersetshire, he arrived from Douay on the English Mission in 1585. Arrested, he spent two years in prison and was then condemned. In terror at his death sentence he promised to yield to what the judges required, which was practically tantamount to denying the faith. Great was the jubilation of the heretics, and not least that of the judge. But whilst the priest was standing between the constables, like the rest of the condemned, there came up to him (for the assizes were held in booths in the open) a certain unknown man, who, after placing some letters in his hand, at once withdrew, no one preventing him, which in itself was a kind of miracle. Mr. Hambley read and re-read them, until at length he broke into tears and gave signs of being strongly moved, but refused to give the contents of the letters or the name of the bearer. The next morning before the judge he expressed his shame for his promise of conformity, was sentenced, and bravely won his martyr’s crown. Although these letters, doubtless, restored him to a right mind, yet neither the writer nor the bearer have ever been discovered, and many believed that they were brought by his Guardian Angel. He suffered at Salisbury about Easter, 1587.

MLA Citation

  • Father Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Venerable John Hambley, Priest, 1587”. Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 April 2019. Web. 4 August 2021. <>