The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn – 12 February 1584

Venerable James Fenn, secular priest
Venerable George Haydock, secular priest
Venerable Thomas Hamerford, secular priest
Venerable John Munden, secular priest
Venerable John Nutter, secular priest

On the Feast of Saint Peter’s Chains, these prisoners of Christ were accounted worthy to hear the death sentence passed on them for upholding the primacy of Peter.

James Fenn was born at Montacute, in Somersetshire. He made his studies at Oxford, at New College and Corpus Christi College. On the death of his wife he became a Seminary Priest. A moving scene took place at the Tower Gate after he was bound on the hurdle; his little daughter Frances, with many tears, came to take her last leave of him and receive his blessing, which he gave her with difficulty, striving to raise his manacled hands.

George Haydock, the son of the Squire of Cottamhall, near Preston, Lancashire was the youngest of the five martyr priests, being only twenty-four years old when he suffered. In answer to the questions put by the minister, he said that if he and the Queen were alone in some desert place where he could do to her what he would he would not so much as prick her with a pin: “No, not to gain the whole world, and,” he added, “I beg and beseech all Catholics to pray together with me to our common Lord for me and for our Country’s weal.”

Venerable Thomas Hamerford and Venerable John Munden welcomed death with great fortitude. Father Munden acknowledged his sentence by joyfully reciting the “Te Deum.” They were both natives of Dorset.

Venerable John Nutter was born in Lancashire. He won for himself the name “John of Plain Dealing” from his fellow prisoners for his outspokenness in rebuking vice. He is said to have been timid by nature, but he now met a most cruel death with no less courage and constancy than his companions.

– from The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn, by The Nuns of the Convent of Tyburn, 1917