Sunday, 16 June 2013


After Tyburn in London no other gallows site was such a place of sacrifice as was that on the Knavesmire at York. This site which is about a mile from the old Micklegate Bar on the south side of the old Tadcaster Road is now the green treelined margin of the York Racecourse. The sacrifice which was made here is tremendous:

Blessed Richard Kirkman, priest, 22nd August 1582.
Blessed William Lacy, priest, 22nd August 1582.
Blessed James Thompson, priest, 28th November 1582.
Blessed William Hart, priest, 15th March 1583.
Blessed Richard Thirkeld, priest, 29th May, 1583.
Blessed Hugh Taylor, priest, 26th November 1585.
Blessed Marmaduke Bowes, 27th November 1585.
Blessed Francis Ingleby, priest, 3rd June 1586.
Blessed Robert Bickerdyke, layman, 23rd July 1586.
Blessed John Finglow, priest, 8th August 1586.
Blessed Richard Langley, layman, 1st December 1586.
Blessed Edmund Sykes, priest, 23rd March 1587.
Blessed George Douglas, priest, 9th September 1587.
Blessed Alexander Crow, priest, 30th November 1587.
Blessed Edward Burden, priest, 29th November 1588.
Blessed John Anne, priest, 15th March 1589.
Blessed Robert Dalby, priest, 15th March 1589.
Blessed William Spenser, priest, 24th September 1589.
Blessed Robert Hardesty, layman, 24th September 1589.
Blessed Robert Thorpe, priest, 31st May 1591.
Blessed Thomas Watkinson, layman, 31st May 1591.
Blessed Anthony Page, priest, 20th April 1593.
Blessed Edward Osbaldeston, priest, 16th November 1594.
Blessed Alexander Rawlins, priest, 7th April 1595.
St Henry Walpole, priest, 7th April 1595.
Blessed George Errington, layman, 29th November 1596.
Blessed William Knight, layman, 29th November 1596.
Blessed William Gibson, layman, 29th November 1596.
Blessed William Audleby, priest, 4th July 1597.
Blessed Edward Fulthrop, layman, 4th July 1597.
Blessed Thomas Warcop, layman, 4th July 1597.
Blessed Henry Abbot, layman, 4th July 1597.
Blessed John Bretton, layman, 1st April 1598.
Blessed Peter Snow, priest, 15th June 1598.
Blessed Ralph Grimston, layman, 15th June 1598.
Ven. Richard Horner, priest, 4th September 1598.
Blessed Christopher Wharton, priest, 28th March 1600.
Ven. James Harrison, priest, 22nd March 1602.
Ven. Anthony Bates, layman, 22nd March 1602.
Blessed Thomas Welbourne, layman, 1st August 1605.
Blessed Matthew Flathers, priest, 21st March 1608.
Blessed Thomas Atkinson, priest, 11th March 1616.
Blessed Edward Catherick, priest, 13th April 1642.
Blessed John Lockwood, priest, 13th April 1642.
Blessed Nicholas Postgate, priest, 7th August 1679.
Blessed Thomas Thwing, priest, 23rd October 1680.

Along with St Margaret Clitherow there were many others who were put to death within the city itself; the above list names only those who died at the Knavesmire. The castle of York was, like Wisbech castle, a sort of Concentration Camp for Catholics. Many, many Catholics perished within its confines, most of them left to wither and rot. I should particularly like to research their lives and witness.

1 comment:

Lepanto said...

I attended English Martyrs Primary School in the fifties which (in those days) was close to the Knavesmire in Blossom Street and I used to go to Mass at English Martyrs Church in Dalton Terrace. I moved away from York many years ago but visited the Church in the late seventies and was horrified at the changes that had been made. I wondered what the the Catholic Martyrs would have thought.