English Martyr, executed at Durham, May 27, 1590
Hill, RICHARD, VENERABLE, English Martyr, executed at Durham, May 27, 1590. Very little is known of him and his fellow-martyrs, John Hogg and Richard Holiday, except that they were Yorkshiremen who arrived at the English College at Reims, Holiday on September 6, 1584, Hill on May 15, 1587, and Hogg on October 15, 1587; that all three were ordained sub-deacons at Soissons, March 18, 1589, by Monsignor Jerome Hennequin, deacons May 27 and priests September 23 at Laon by Monsignor Valentine Douglas, O.S.B.; that they with their fellow martyr Edmund Duke were sent on the English mission on the following March 22 and were arrested in the north of England soon after landing; that they were arraigned, condemned and executed at Durham under the statute 27 Eliz. c. 2. With them suffered four felons who protested that they died in the same faith.
"Divers beholders, when these martyrs were offered their pardons if they would go to church, said boldly that they would rather die themselves than any of them should relent, one saying (he had seven children) `I would to God they might all go the same way in making such confession'. When their heads were cut off and holden up, as the manner is, not one would say, `God save the Queen', except the catch-polls themselves and a minister or two." Two Protestant spectators, Robert Maire and his wife Grace, were converted. The place at which they were executed was called Dryburn, and afterwards a legend sprung up that it was so called because the well out of which the water was drawn to boil their quarters suddenly dried up. The place however had this name before their deaths.
J. B. WAINEWRIGHT