24 July 1588 – Blessed Nicholas Garlick

‘Seducing’ the Queen’s subjects, that’s what Nicholas Garlick was found guilty of in 1588. Sadly his crimes were not racy as they sound.

Rome, if you want to

A priest by trade, he was a Catholic through and through, and despite harsh laws against anyone found spreading his religion, Garlick contrived to commit the cardinal sin.

As we’ve mentioned in relation to likes of Margaret Pole about 40-odd years beforehand, England was in the throes of the Reformation – which included a move away from the Pope towards Protestantism.

With the monarch (Elizabeth I) catapulted in to the prestigious religious top slot, the pro-Pope Catholics were in a tailspin.

But, hey, you can’t keep a good Catholic down and Garlick found illicit ways and means to spread the word.

Chopped and diced

Needless to say, the law eventually caught up with the 33ish-year-old and Garlick was roasted by his interrogators, alongside two other priests by the names of Robert Ludlam and Richard Simpson.

According to various sources devoted to Catholicism, the trio was found guilty and sentenced to death for heresy: ‘That you and each of you be carried to the place from whence you came, and from thence be drawn on a hurdle to the place of execution, and be there severally hanged, but cut down while you are alive; that your privy members be cut off; that your bowels be taken out and burnt before your faces; that your heads be severed from your bodies; that your bodies be divided into four quarters, and that your quarters be at the Queen’s disposal; and the Lord have mercy on your souls.’

The very next day, the priests were strung up, before being rudely relieved of their bits and bowels, which were burned in front of them, then what was left was quartered.

Bits and bods

Their various bits were then strewn about Derby in a bid to put any would-be supporters off the thought of pursuing the same religion.

Apparently Garlick was still conscious when the second bit excruciatingly took place, but he, indeed all three met their fates so stoically that they were posthumously promoted to martyrs – the road to being blessed ended in 1987, when John Paul II successfully beautified them.

Also on this day

24 July 1923 – William Griffiths

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