Menology of England and Wales – Many Martyrs of Britain, c.300


The Christians of Britain appear to have escaped unharmed in the earlier persecutions which afflicted the Church; but the cruel edicts of Diocletian were enforced in every corner of the empire, and the faithful inhabitants of this land, whether native Britons or Roman colonists, were called upon to furnish their full number of holy Martyrs and Confessors. The names of few are on record; but the British historian, Saint Gildas, after relating the martyrdom of Saint Alban, tells us that many others were seized, some put to the most unheard-of tortures, and others immediately executed, while not a few hid themselves in forests and deserts and the caves of the earth, where they endured a prolonged death until God called them to their reward. The same writer attributes it to the subsequent invasion of the English, then a pagan people, that the recollection of the places, sanctified by these martyrdoms, has been lost, and so little honour paid to their memory. It may be added that, according to one tradition, a thousand of these Christians were overtaken in their flight near Lichfield, and cruelly massacred, and that the name of Lichfield, or field of the Dead, is derived from them.

MLA Citation

  • Father Richard Stanton. “Many Martyrs of Britain, c.300”. Menology of England and Wales, 1887. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 April 2015. Web. 19 June 2021. <>