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Saturday, January 04, 2014

Blessed THOMAS PLUMTREE, Priest, 1572



BORN in the Diocese of Lincoln, a scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1546, he was made Rector of Stubton in his native county. He resigned his benefice on the change of religion under Elizabeth, and became a schoolmaster at Lincoln, but was obliged to resign the post on account of his faith. But it is as chief chaplain and priest of the army of the Northern Rising that he won the martyr's palm. His voice seems to have been like the Baptist's and to have stirred high and low alike. His call to abandon heresy and to rally to the standard of the faith ran through the northern counties, and hundreds came in response to his summons. He appears to have been celebrant of the Mass in Durham Cathedral immediately preceding F. Holmes' sermon and the public Absolution which followed. On his capture after the failure of the Rising, he was singled out as a notable example of the priests who had officiated. On the gibbet in the market-place at Durham 

he was offered his life if he would embrace heresy, but he refused, and dying to this world received eternal life from Christ. He suffered January 4 1572, and was buried in the market-place.

Wherein I labour even unto bands, but the word of God is not bound.—2 TIM. ii. 9.

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