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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Venerable Thomas Felton, Layman, 1588


A MARTYR himself and the son of a martyr, his father having suffered for putting up St. Pius V's Bull of excommunication, he was apprehended as a suspected Papist for the third time, though but a layman, when only twenty years of age. Tortured in the "Little Ease," starved, hanged up by the hands till the blood sprang from his finger ends, he remained steadfast. Upon a Sunday he was violently taken by certain officers and carried betwixt two, fast bound in a chair, into the chapel at Bridewell to their service. He, having his hands at first at liberty, stopped his ears with his fingers that he might not hear what the minister said. Then they bound down his hands also to the chair ; but being set down to the ground, bound in the manner aforesaid, he stamped with his feet, and made that noise with his mouth, shouting and hallowing, and crying oftentimes, " Jesus, Jesus," that the minister's voice could not be heard. Asked by the judge if he acknowledged the Queen's supremacy, he made answer that " he had read divers chronicles, but never read that God ordained a woman should be supreme head of the Church." For this speech he was condemned, and hung the next day near Hounslow, Middlesex.

" Depart from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be involved in their sins."—NUM. xvi. 26

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