Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Last Abbot of Colchester

John Beche was martyred for the Catholic faith under Henry VIII.
John Beche (alias Thomas Marshall) was executed for treason on December 1, 1539--the last abbot of Colchester's Benedictine abbey. He had previously been the abbot at St. Werburgh's abbey in Chester. In 1534, he took Henry VIII's Oath of Supremacy, but after the executions of the Carthusians, Thomas More, and John Fisher in 1535, he began to speak of them as martyrs of the Faith. His comments were reported to Henry VIII and when he refused to surrender the Abbey of St. John in Colchester, he was arrested and held in the Tower of London. John Beche was returned to Colchester to face charges of treason against Henry VIII's role as Supreme Head and Governour of the Church in England and found guilty. He was hung, drawn, and quartered in Colchester on December 1, 1539. (Read entire post.)

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