Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham was the principal celebrant and preacher at Mass during the annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of the English Martyrs at Harvington Hall, Worcestershire, on Sunday September 4, writes Peter Jennings.
The Elizabethan manor house was built by Humphrey Pakington (1555-1631), a courtier from the household of the Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, who managed to practise his Catholic faith in secret during a time of great persecution.
Harvington Hall has the finest surviving series of priest holes anywhere in the country and during Elizabethan times offered shelter to many recusant priests. . . .
The four martyrs especially venerated at Harvington, who worked at various times in the area are: St John Wall, who was hung, drawn and quartered at Red Hill, Worcester on August 2 1679 and canonised in 1970; St Nicholas Owen, who died under torture in the Tower on March 2 1606, and was canonised in 1970; Blessed Edward Oldcorne, who was executed at Red Hill, Worcester on April 7 1606 and beatified in 1929; and Blessed Arthur Bell, who was executed at Tyburn on December 11 1643 and beatified in 1987.
More about Harvington Hall and more about the priest holes here and here.
While searching the web for more information about the shrine, I found this site, which features a new shrine to the English Martyrs at Holy Cross Priory in Leicester. Scroll down and read the last words of the martyrs:
John Wall: It is an easy thing to run the blind way of liberty, but God deliver us from all broad, sweet ways.
Ralph Sherwin: I make no doubt of my future happiness, through Jesus Christ, in whose death, passion, and blood I only trust.
Charles Mahoney: Now Almighty God is pleased I should suffer this martyrdom. His Holy Name be praised since I die for my religion.
John Kemble: I die only for professing the old Roman Catholic religion, which first made this kingdom Christian.
George Haydock: I pray God that my blood may increase the Catholic faith in England.