The One Hundred and Five Martyrs of Tyburn – 7 February 1578

Blessed Thomas Sherwood, layman

He was born in London, and was one of a large family. He had returned from Douai in order to arrange with his father about remaining at the seminary, and was one day talking in Chancery Lane when the cry was raised, “Stop the traitor!” It was the unworthy son of a Catholic lady with whom he was staying who thus betrayed him. Having replied to the question put to him that he believed the Holy Father to be the Head of the Church, the young seminarist was sent to prison on a charge of high treason. In the vain attempt to force him to reveal where and by whom he had heard Mass said, he was taken to the Tower to be cruelly racked. The only words which escaped him were: “Lord Jesus, I am not worthy that I should suffer these things for Thee, much less am I worthy of those rewards which Thou hast promised to give to such as confess Thee.” He was then thrown into a dungeon under the banks of the Thames, among the rats, where he endured hunger and cold for three winter months.

On the Eve of Candlemas, Sherwood was tried and found guilty of denying the royal supremacy, and the barbarous sentence was passed. He is described as small, and he looked much younger than his twenty-seven years; “being of his nature very meek and gentle.”

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