About the English Martyrs Image

The English Martyrs refers to the Catholics who were executed for their faith by the Protestant English monarchs during the 16th and 17th centuries. Most of them were executed during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I, as well as during the English Civil War.

Read the full English Martyrs novena on the novena page. You can also learn more about novenas here.

Who Were the English Martyrs?

In the 1500s, King Henry VIII broke in schism from the Church so that he could divorce his wife and marry his mistress, hoping to conceive a male heir.

This schism was Anglican Protestantism and persists to this day.

The King and his ruling descendants persecuted Catholics, beginning most notably with the great Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher. Catholics were forced to become Protestant or risk losing property, livelihood, and ultimately their lives.

The Catholics who refused to submit to the heretical tyrants were called recusants. The most glorious of these faithful people are the English Martyrs.

Many of these martyrs were priests, but there were also laypeople, including men and women.

Some of the well-known Catholic English Martyrs include Saint Thomas More, Saint John Fisher, Saint Edmund Campion, and Saint Margaret Clitherow.

The Catholic Church has declared hundreds of these martyrs as Saints or Blesseds, including,

Saint John Almond
Saint Edmund Arrowsmith
Saint Ambrose Barlow
Saint John Boste
Saint Alexander Briant
Saint Edmund Campion
Saint Margaret Clitherow
Saint Philip Evans
Saint Thomas Garnet
Saint Edmund Gennings
Saint Richard Gwyn
Saint John Houghton
Saint Philip Howard
Saint John Jones
Saint John Kemble
Saint Luke Kirby
Saint Robert Lawrence
Saint David Lewis
Saint Anne Line
Saint John Lloyd
Saint Cuthbert Mayne
Saint Henry Morse
Saint Nicholas Owen
Saint John Payne
Saint Polydore Plasden
Saint John Plessington
Saint Richard Reynolds
Saint John Rigby
Saint John Roberts
Saint Alban Roe
Saint Ralph Sherwin
Saint Robert Southwell
Saint John Southworth
Saint John Stone
Saint John Wall
Saint Henry Walpole
Saint Margaret Ward
Saint Augustine Webster
Saint Swithun Wells
Saint Eustace White