The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn – 3 December 1678

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Venerable Edward Coleman, layman

He was a minister’s son, and was born in Suffolk and educated at Cambridge. Afterwards he became a zealous convert. The Duchess of York made him her secretary, and he was thus enabled to procure more liberty of conscience for Catholics and to stand them in good stead in many ways. At the outbreak of the Titus Gates Plot, some letters he had written to Pere La Chaise, the French King’s confessor, were seized, and he was brought to trial charged with plotting against the King’s life, raising rebellion in Ireland, etc. Gates and Bedloe further declared he had received a commission “from the General of the Jesuits” to be secretary of State. When it was objected that there were many contradictions in his evidence, Gates complained that he had undergone great fatigue for two days and two nights in the pursuit after Jesuits, and this had so exhausted him that he did not know what he said.

Edward Coleman denied all that was sworn against him, protesting his innocence with his last breath. He died having done all in his power to help the cause of religion.

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