The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn – 6 July 1585

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Venerable Thomas Alfield, secular priest
Venerable Thomas Webley, layman

Venerable Thomas Alfield was born in Gloucester. He was ordained at Rheims, and after his return to the English Mission he found means to import into the kingdom some copies of Dr. Allen’s “Modest Answer to the English Persecutors.” This was in reply to a book supposed to have been written by Cecil, Lord Treasurer, in which he attempted to falsely persuade the world that the Catholics who had suffered in England since the Queen’s accession to the throne, had not suffered for religion but for treason.

Father Alfield circulated Dr. Allen’s “Answers” by the help of Thomas Webley, a dyer. Both priest and layman were soon called to account for the part they had taken, and were most cruelly tortured in the attempt to make them reveal the names of the persons to whom the books had been distributed. They were brought to trial and suffered at Tyburn on the day following their condemnation. Both had their lives offered to them if they would renounce the Pope and acknowledge Queen Elizabeth to be the head of the Church. They cheerfully chose martyrdom rather than listen to such conditions.

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