Monday, 7 January 2013

Lincoln Green

On the western side of the castle at Lincoln, away from the Cathedral and city centre is the old execution site. The only evidence that it was here is the pub which is called "The Strugglers Arms" (photo above). The place of execution itself was probably where the Phone Box is. In the past, his site would have commanded a tremendous view looking out west to the countryside below. On 1st July 1600 two priests were here hung, drawn and quartered for their priesthood. Frs Thomas Hunt and Thomas Sprott; both were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987.
Fr Thomas Hunt had previously been captured and imprisoned in Wisbech Castle; Fr Thomas Sprott had also been captured and imprisoned in the Bridewell, London. Both priests had escaped and were brought together by the then Jesuit Superior, Fr Henry garnet and sent north as missionary companions. While staying in the Saracens Head pub in Lincoln they were arrested and condemned. At the scaffold they were prevented, by the authorities, from addressing the crowd, who then insisted that both priests should hang till dead before they were butchered.
Their witness remains unmarked at this former gallows site, and it would be very fitting for a public memorial to be placed near this place. It is not every town that has a beatified saint; and Lincoln has two! 

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