The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn – 19 April 1602


Venerable James Duckett, layman

His boyhood was spent among the Westmoreland hills, where he was brought up in the new religion. After his school-days he was bound apprentice to a merchant in London, and there became convinced of the truth of Catholicism, which he embraced after many trials and difficulties. He chose the trade of a bookseller, and supplied books to Catholics, and this was the cause of his spending much of his married life in prison. He was betrayed by a bookbinder, who being condemned to death thus sought to save his own life, but lost it, together with his honour. The Martyr met him again in the same cart that was to take them to Tyburn. As they stood beneath the gibbet, with ropes round their necks, James Duckett said: “Peter, the cause of my coming hither God and thyself knowest, for which I from my heart forgive thee.” Then he bent and kissed him, saying: “Thy life and mine are not long; wilt thou promise me one thing? If thou wilt, speak. Wilt thou die as I die, a Catholic?”

“I will die as a Christian should die,” was the answer.

MLA Citation