The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn – 10 December 1591


Venerable Polydore Plasden, secular priest
Venerable Eustace White, secular priest
Venerable Sydney Hodson, layman
Venerable Bryan Lacey, layman
Venerable John Mason, layman

Being brought to Tyburn, the two priests were the first to yield up their lives. They had all been captured at the Mass said by Father Gennings in the house of Venerable Swithin Wells, who with Father Gennings was martyred at Gray’s Inn Fields.

At Tyburn, when pressed by specious questions as to whether he would defend the Queen against the Pope, Polydore Plasden replied: “I am a Catholic priest, therefore I would never fight, nor counsel others to fight against my religion, for that to deny my faith. O Christ,” said he, looking up to heaven, and kissing the rope “I will never deny Thee for a thousand lives.” He was thereupon hanged as a traitor.

Father White, who was the next to follow him, had already suffered much while in Bridewell under the power of the inhuman Topcliffe, being once hung by the hands in iron manacles for eight hours in the effort to induce him to reveal the names of those in whose houses he had said Mass. No torture, however, could wring from him any other words than * Lord, more pain if Thou pleasest and more patience.”

Venerable Sydney Hodson, Bryan Lacey and John Mason, the three laymen, who were their companions, were martyred for having assisted and defended priests.

MLA Citation