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Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
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Thomas Tunstall, Venerable

Martyred at Norwich, July 13, 1616

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Tunstall, THOMAS, VENERABLE, martyred at Norwich, July 13, 1616. He was descended from the Tunstalls of Thurland, an ancient Lancashire family who afterwards settled in Yorkshire. In the Douay Diaries he is called by the alias of Helmes and is described as Carleolensis, that is, born within the ancient Diocese of Carlisle. He took the College oath at Douay on May 24, 1607; received minor orders at Arras, June 13, 1609, and the subdiaconate at Douay on June 24 following. The diary does not record his ordination to the diaconate or priesthood, but he left the college as a priest on August 17, 1610. On reaching England he was almost immediately apprehended and spent four or five years in various prisons till he succeeded in escaping from Wisbech Castle. He made his way to a friend's house near Lynn, where he was recaptured and committed to Norwich Gaol. At the next assizes he was tried and condemned (July 12, 1616). The saintliness of his demeanor on the scaffold produced a profound impression on the people. There is a contemporary portrait of the martyr at Stonyhurst, showing him as a man still young with abundant black hair and dark moustache.

EDWIN BURTON


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