Blessed Richard Thirkeld:
Educated at Queen's College, Oxford, 1564-1565. Studied at Douai and Rheims, France. Ordained on 18 April 1579 at an age somewhat older than his confreres. Returned to England on 23 May 1579 as a home missioner around York. Confessor to Saint Margaret Clitherow. Arrested on Annunciation Eve in 1583 for the crime of priesthood; the authorities became suspicious when he visited a Catholic prisoner. Lodged in Ousebridge Kidcote prison, York, for two months. He wore a cassock and biretta to trial, was convicted on 27 May 1583 of hearing confessions and bringing the lapsed back to the Church, and was sentenced on 28 May 1583 to death. He used his time in jail to minister to other prisoners, working especially with others sentenced to death. Martyred in secret on May 29 for fear his covert parishioners would cause a civil disturbance. Six of his letters have survived. This site exerpts two of those letters.