Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors – Walter Colman, O.S.F., 1645


After leading for some years a worldly life, he entered the noviciate of the Recollects at Douay about 1628. Born a poet, he wrote verses as a help to his devotions on the Duel of Death. His novice master to mortify him ordered him to throw his composition into the fire, and he instantly obeyed. On landing as a priest in England he was seized and racked, and having no shirt, for by the rule the Franciscan habit must be worn next the skin, suspicions were aroused, but he calmed them by attributing his needy apparel to his extreme poverty. On refusing to take the oath of allegiance, he was, however, imprisoned. Released through his friends’ generosity, he began his missionary labours. Disguised as a cavalier, his wit, brilliant talents, and polished manners made him generally popular, and aided his work for souls. But the secret of his power lay under his gay exterior, in his complete detachment from earthly things, and his constant thought of death. He was many times arrested, and at length condemned, but he was left chained, insulted, often beaten, to drag out three or four years in a filthy prison till he learnt in practice the study of his life – how to die. Newgate, 1645.

MLA Citation

  • Father Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Walter Colman, O.S.F., 1645”. Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 April 2019. Web. 24 July 2021. <>