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Wexford Martyrs

13193_900Next Thursday (20th June) we remember the dozens of Irish people who have been sanctified in varying degrees for dying for their faith between 1500 and 1700. Among them were the Wexford Martyrs, Matthew Lambert, Robert Tyler, Edward Cheevers and Patrick Kavanagh who were executed in Wexford in 1581.

Religious persecution of Catholics in Ireland began under Henry VIII after his excommunication in 1533. Allegiance to the Pope was then considered treason. Many, especially in Munster and Leinster, rebelled against this. Amongst them the Earl of Desmond and the Viscount of Baltinglass. The latter was betrayed and had to flee to France.

Matthew Lambert was a Wexford baker who arranged with five sailor friends to provide safe passage by ship out of Wexford for Baltinglass and his Jesuit chaplain Robert Rochford. The authorities heard about the plan and Lambert and his friends were arrested and thrown into prison. Lambert's response to the accusations was: "I am not a learned man. I am unable to debate with you, but I can tell you this, 'I am a Catholic and I believe whatever our Catholic Church believes.'"

They were all hanged, drawn and quartered despite pleas from their families to retract.


My own sect does not recognise martyrs as such, although this doesn't mean there are none- it's an issue with being a quetist, pacifist sect in the late 17th and early 18th centuries- one tended to get attacked from all sides.

So many so called Christians with so many crimes to answer for...............:o(

I've a suspicion that Henry Tudor would have been right alongside the concept of Popes as long as he was the one to be Pope! He never, after all, renounced his own Catholicism and persecuted more committed Protestants just as hard as Catholics and is thought to have recanted on his deathbed.
It's a pity that so many may have died for their beliefs at that time and have perished without recognition or memory.

Do your services never mention such, especially in their own localities?

Military families seem to make sure their members are remembered. I was reading this very morning the names of such families who have donated stained glass windows to our church in memory of their own departed - martyred or not!
You forget that we worship in silence! :o)

A few names are well known in Quaker history but we don't really do such memorialisation although we don't forget.

Members of my own family were murdered for their religous faith, or perhaps more accurately, simply for being who they were, having been Latvian Jews.

This is a regimental HQ town and a lot of the churches have such windows here.

Oh, that cruel middle ages

What a pity are all that suffering, martyring and deaths. A lot of good people killed and executed. A great sorrow.

Re: Oh, that cruel middle ages

Are we not still making martyrs in so many countries today! How many of those millions (and their causes) will be remembered in 50, 100, 500 years time?