B. at London; martyred at Newcastle-on-Tyne, Jan. 7, 1594 (1593 old style)
Waterson, EDWARD, VENERABLE, b. at London; martyred at Newcastle-on-Tyne, January 7, 1594 (1593 old style). A romantic episode marks this martyr's early career, for as a young man he travelled to Turkey with some English merchants, and attracted the attention of a wealthy Turk, who offered him his daughter in marriage if he would embrace Moslemism. Rejecting the offer with horror, Edward Waterson returned westward through Italy and, coming to Rome, was there reconciled to the Catholic Church by Richard Smith, afterwards Bishop of Chalcedon. The Pilgrim-book of the English College records his stay there, November 29—December 11, 1588. He then went to Reims to study for the priesthood, arriving there January 24, 1589. He received the tonsure and minor orders on August 18, 1590, subdiaconate on September 21, 1591, diaconate on February 24, 1592, and the priesthood March 11 following. On June 24 he returned to England, with such zeal for the mission that he declared to his companions that if he might have the Kingdom of France to stay there till the next mid-summer he would rather choose to go to England. Though he was not learned, his humility, spirit of penance, and other virtues caused him to be regarded as a pattern. Captured at midsummer, 1593, he was cruelly treated in prison till his execution. Incidents occurred at the martyrdom of a miraculous nature. The horses were unable to drag the hurdle to the scaffold and the ladder was mysteriously agitated by invisible means, till the martyr signed it with the cross.