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William Exmew, Blessed

Carthusian monk and martyr; suffered at Tyburn, June 19, 1535

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


William Exmew, BLESSED, Carthusian monk and martyr; suffered at Tyburn, June 19, 1535. He studied at Christ's College, Cambridge, and became a proficient classical scholar. Entering the London Charterhouse, he was soon raised to the office of vicar (sub-prior); in 1534 he was named procurator. Chauncy says that for virtue and learning his like could not be found in the English province of the order. Two days after the Prior of the Charter-house, Bl. John Houghton, had been put to death (May 4, 1535), W. Exmew and the vicar, Humphrey Middlemore, were denounced to Thomas Cromwell by Thomas Bedyll, one of the royal commissioners, as being "obstinately determined to suffer all extremities rather than to alter their opinion" with regard to the primacy of the pope. Three weeks later they and another monk of the Charterhouse, Sebastian Newdigate, were arrested and thrown into the Marshalsea, where they were made to stand in chains, bound to posts, and were left in that position for thirteen days. After that, they were removed to the Tower. Named in the same indictment as Bl. John Fisher, they were brought to trial at Westminster, June 11 following, and pleaded not guilty, i.e. of high treason, but asserted their staunch adhesion to what the Church taught on the subject of spiritual supremacy and denied that King Henry VIII had any right to the title of head of the Church of England. They were consequently condemned to death as traitors, and were hanged, drawn, and quartered. W. Exmew is one of the fifty-four English martyrs beatified by Leo XIII, December 9, 1886.

Poitiers, and in 1107 he received the Abbey of Celleen-Brie from the Bishop of Meaux.

MICHAEL OTT


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