Sunday, July 26, 2015

More Martyrs in July: Blessed Edward Thwing and Blessed Robert Nutter

These two martyrs, executed on July 26 in 1600, each had a relative (nephew and brother, respectively) who also suffered martyrdom for their priesthood in recusant England. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1982 as two of the 85 Martyrs of England and Wales:

Edward Thwing was born in Yorkshire. He went to Reims, France in the summer of 1583 to study for the priesthood and then went to the Jesuit community at Pont-a-Mousson, evidently intending to enter the order. But within two years, he was back at the English College. After completing his studies with a stay in Rome, he returned to France for his ordination in Laon on December 20, 1590. His return to England was delayed by health problems. In 1597, he was finally able to go to England but was captured by the Elizabethan authorities as soon as he arrived. He and a fellow priest, (Blessed) Robert Nutter, managed to escape from their prison, and eluded arrest for the next three years. In May of 1600, they were re-captured. On July 26, 1600, Father Thwing was executed at Lancaster by drawing and quartering, together with Father Nutter. His nephew was also martyred, during the Popish Plot craziness: Blessed Thomas Thwing.

Blessed Robert Nutter was born at Burnley, Lancashire, c. 1550; executed at Lancaster, 26 July, 1600. He entered Brasenose College, Oxford in 1564 or 1565, and, with his brother John, also a martyr (executed at Tyburn on February 12, 1584 with four other priests and beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929) became a student of the English College, Reims. Having been ordained priest, 21 Dec., 1581, he returned to England. On 2 Feb., 1583-4 he was committed to the Tower, where he remained in the pit forty-seven days, wearing irons for forty-three days, and twice subjected to the tortures of "the scavenger's daughter". On 10 November, 1584, he was again consigned to the pit, where he remained until, on 21 Jan., 1584-5, he, with twenty other priests and one layman, was shipped aboard the "Mary Martin" of Colchester, at Tower Wharf. Landing at Boulogne, 2 Feb., he revisited Rome in July, but, on 30 November, was again committed to prison in London, this time to Newgate, under the alias of Rowley. In 1587 he was removed to the Marshalsea, and thence, in 1589-90, was sent to Wisbech Castle, Cambridgeshire. There, in 1597, he signed a petition to Father Garnet in favour of having a Jesuit superior, but, on 8 Nov., 1598, he and his fellow martyr, Edward Thwing, with others, besought the pope to institute an archpriest.

This site offers more detail on each martyr:

Blessed John Nutter: He was a man of strong body but of a stronger soul, who rather despised than conquered death; and went before his companion to the gallows with as much cheerfulness and joy as if he had been going to a feast, to the astonishment of the spectators.

Blessed Edward Thwing: Thwing was of a Yorkshire family, a man of admirable meekness and patience, suffering long with a painful infirmity.

Blesseds Thwing and Nutter are among the Lancaster Martyrs, listed here.

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