The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn – 1 June 1571

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Blessed John Storey, layman

He belonged to a Northumberland family, and was connected with that of the Selbys. He was a distinguished lawyer, and had held important Government positions, but his fidelity to the True Faith exposed him to considerable danger, and for the sake of peace of conscience he settled in Flanders. He soon regretted that for want of greater courage he had deliberately deprived himself of martyrdom, and his friends opposing his desire to return to England, he gave himself up to a life of prayer and penance until poverty and the increasing number of his exiled family compelled him to enter the service of the Duke of Alva. It was on the pretext of aiding him in his office, which was that of preventing the export of heretical books. to England, that he was lured on board a trader at Antwerp. As soon as he was below, the hatches were closed and all sails set for Yarmouth. From thence he was carried to London and imprisoned in the Tower, where he had been confined once before. He was now very old and infirm. He was tried on a charge of treason and for comforting traitors, and without proof was found guilty. At Tyburn, with the rope round his neck, he made a long speech, and pleaded on behalf of his wife ” who hath four young children, and God hath now taken me away that was her staff and stay. . . . I have good hopes that you will be good to her, for she is the faithfulest wife, the lovingest, the constantest, that ever man had, and twice we have lost all that ever we had, and now she hath lost me, to her great grief I know.”

He was subjected to more than usual cruelty. The fact that no mention is found of the use of a triangular gallows before the year 1571 seems to confirm the opinion that it was erected for the purpose of drawing special attention to Dr. Storey’s execution.

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