Notable confessor of the English Church
Atkinson, PAUL OF ST. FRANCIS.—One of the notable confessors of the English Church during the age which succeeded the persecution of blood. Having been condemned to perpetual imprisonment for his priesthood, about the year 1699, he died in confinement after having borne its pains for more than thirty years. He was of a Yorkshire family and was called Matthew in baptism. He joined the English Franciscan Convent at Douai in 1673, and had served with distinction on the English mission for twelve years, when he was betrayed by a maidservant for the 8100 reward. One governor of his prison, Hurst Castle on the Solent, allowed him to walk outside the prison walls; but complaint was made of this and the leave was revoked.