Thomas Pounde

Last updated

Thomas Pounde (29 May 1539 – 5 March 1614) was an English Jesuit lay brother.

Society of Jesus male religious congregation of the Catholic Church

The Society of Jesus is a religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola with the approval of Pope Paul III in 1540. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.

A lay brother is a member of a religious order, particularly in the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church, who fulfills a role focused upon manual service and secular matters, and is distinguished from a choir monk or friar whose primary role is to pray in choir. In female religious institutes, the equivalent role is the lay sister. In male religious institutes, lay brothers are additionally distinguished from choir religious in that they do not receive holy orders and are therefore not clerics. Lay brother and lay sisters roles were originally created to allow those who were skilled in particular crafts or did not have the required education to study for holy orders to participate in and contribute to the life of a religious order.



Pounde was born at Belmont (Beaumond), Farlington, Hampshire. He was the eldest son of William Pounde and Helen/Anne, the sister or half-sister to Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. He is reported to have been educated at Winchester College. He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 16 February 1559/60, and with the death of his father the same month, he succeeded to Belmont, and soon after was appointed esquire of the body to Queen Elizabeth. [1] He acted the part of Mercury in George Gascoigne's Masque, performed before the queen at Kenilworth Castle in 1565. During the reveries of Christmastide, 1551, while dancing before the queen, he stumbled and fell at her feet. The queen reportedly kicked him and said, "Rise, Sir Ox". Pounde, humiliated, replied "Sic transit gloria mundi" and thenceforward retired from court life. [2]

Farlington, Hampshire

Farlington is a district of Portsmouth. It is located in the north east of the city and is not actually on Portsea Island. Farlington was incorporated into the city in 1932 and now forms a continuous development with Cosham and Drayton. It is in the Drayton and Farlington ward of the city.

Thomas Wriothesley Officer of Arms

Sir Thomas Wriothesley was a long serving officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. He was the son of Garter King of Arms, John Writhe, and he succeeded his father in this office.

Winchester College Boarding school in Winchester, England (UK)

Winchester College is an independent boarding school for boys in the British public school tradition, situated in Winchester, Hampshire. It has existed in its present location for over 600 years. It is the oldest of the original seven English public schools defined by the Clarendon Commission and regulated by the Public Schools Act 1868.

Shortly afterwards he was reconciled to the Roman Catholic Church, probably by Father Henry Alway, and after some time of seclusion at Beaumond, began an active career as a proselytiser. He was in the Marshalsea Prison for six months in 1574; in the Winchester jail for some months in 1575/6; and in the Marshalsea again from 9 March 1575/6 to 18 September 1580, being made a Jesuit lay-brother by a letter dated 1 December 1578 from the Father-General Everard Mercurian, sent at the instance of Father Thomas Stevens. From the Marshalsea Pounde was removed to Waytemore Castle, and thence to Wisbech. Then he was in the Tower of London, from 13 August 1581 to 7 December 1585. He was in the White Lion, Southwark, from 1 September 1586, till he was sent back to Wisbech in 1587, where he remained nearly ten years. He was again in the Tower of London, from February 1596/7 to the autumn of 1598, when he was again committed to Wisbech. From Wisbech he was relegated to Wood Street Counter where he remained for six weeks from 19 December 1598. After that he was in the Tower again until 7 July 1601. He was then in Framlingham Castle for a year. In 1602 he was in Newgate, and in the following year he was indicted at York. Afterwards he was in the Gatehouse, Westminster, for some time, and then in the Tower (for the fourth time) for four months, and lastly in the Fleet Prison for three months. He was finally liberated in late 1604 or early in 1605, having spent nearly thirty years in prison. [1]

Marshalsea Former prison in Southwark, London

The Marshalsea (1373–1842) was a notorious prison in Southwark, just south of the River Thames. Although it housed a variety of prisoners, including men accused of crimes at sea and political figures charged with sedition, it became known, in particular, for its incarceration of the poorest of London's debtors. Over half the population of England's prisons in the 18th century were in jail because of debt.

Everard Mercurian Jesuit Superior General

Very Rev. Everard Mercurian, S.J. was the fourth Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

Thomas Stephens (c.1549–1619) was an English Jesuit priest and missionary in Portuguese India, writer and linguist.


That Pounde practised verse is known from the two court masques he performed in the mid-1560s, [3] which show that in his idle youth he was writing in Elizabeth's court. Traditionally, Pounde has been thought to be the author of a long poem which exists in a unique manuscript in The National Archives: "A challenge unto ffox the martirmonger (John Foxe, the martyrologist) . . . with a comforte vnto all afflicted Catholyques". [4] Written in the Tower in 1582, about the time of the trial of Edmund Campion, the 512-line poem was probably addressed to Francis Tregian the Elder. [5] Long forgotten, the poem was discovered by Richard Simpson in the 1850s in the course of his monumental labours transcribing documents of recusant history from the Public Records Office (now The National Archives) for an intended "martyrology," publishing the results in a sequence of essays in The Rambler. Simpson's transcription of the poem was published in 2009, marking the first time in its four-hundred year history that the entirety of Pounde's poem saw the light of day. [5]

John Foxe 16th-century British historian

John Foxe was an English historian and martyrologist, the author of Actes and Monuments, an account of Christian martyrs throughout Western history, but which particularly emphasises the sufferings of English Protestants and proto-Protestants from the 14th century and throughout the reign of Mary I. Widely owned and read by English Puritans, the book helped to mould British popular opinion about the Catholic Church for several centuries.

Edmund Campion English Jesuit priest, martyr and saint

Saint Edmund Campion, S.J., was an English Catholic Jesuit priest and martyr. While conducting an underground ministry in officially Anglican England, Campion was arrested by priest hunters. Convicted of high treason, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Campion was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and canonised in 1970 by Saint Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. His feast is celebrated on 1 December.

Francis Tregian the Elder (1548–1608) was the son of John Tregian of Wolvenden of Probus, Cornwall and Catherine Arundell. A staunch Catholic, he inherited substantial estates on the death of his father, including the manors of Bedock, Landegy, Lanner and Carvolghe, and the family home, 'Golden', in the parish of Probus, near Truro. He was the father of Francis Tregian the Younger, notable for his musical interests.

Related Research Articles

Robert Persons English Jesuit priest

Robert Persons, later known as Robert Parsons, was an English Jesuit priest. He was a major figure in establishing the 16th-century "English Mission" of the Society of Jesus.

Henry Walpole English saint

Henry Walpole was an English Jesuit martyr, executed at York for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy.

Blessed Robert Johnson, a Shropshire native, was a Catholic priest and martyr during the reign of Elizabeth I.

John Jones, also known as John Buckley, John Griffith, Godfrey Maurice, or Griffith Jones was a Franciscan friar, Roman Catholic priest, and martyr. He was born at Clynnog Fawr, Caernarfonshire (Gwynedd), Wales, and was executed 12 July 1598 at Southwark, England. He is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Wisbech Castle

Wisbech Castle is believed to have been a motte-and-bailey earthwork castle built to fortify Wisbech on the orders of William I in 1072. This was probably oval in shape and size, on the line still marked by the Crescent. The original design and layout is unknown. It was rebuilt in stone in 1087. The castle was reputedly destroyed in a flood in 1236. In the 15th century repairs were becoming too much for the ageing structure, and a new building was started in 1478 under John Morton, Bishop of Ely. His successor, John Alcock, extended and completed the re-building and died in the Castle in 1500. Subsequent bishops also spent considerable sums on this new palace. The Bishop's Palace was built of brick with dressings of Ketton Stone, but its exact location is unknown.

John Shert was an English Catholic priest and martyr, who was executed during the reign of Elizabeth I.

Thomas Wood was a Roman Catholic chaplain to Mary I of England and later a confessor of the Catholic faith. Wood was held in the Tower of London after Mary's death, and threatened with torture. He was later transferred to Marshalsea Prison. He died in Wisbech Castle c.1588.

Sebastian Westcott was an English organist at St. Paul's Cathedral. He is especially known for staging performances of plays with the Children of Paul's.

Robert Nutter was an English Catholic priest, Dominican friar and martyr. He was beatified in 1987.

George Haydock was an English Roman Catholic priest. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1987. He is not to be confused with his relative, also a priest, George Leo Haydock (1774–1849).

James Fenn was an English Roman Catholic priest and martyr who was beatified on 15 December 1929, by Pope Pius XI. He was the brother of the Roman Catholic priest and writer John Fenn and also had another brother named Robert Fenn. All three brothers were choristers and scholars. Before becoming a priest at around the age of 40, Fenn married and fathered a son and daughter and became a widower. He was executed for his loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith, which was contrary to the demand to recognize supremacy of the Church of England in preference to the Church of Rome.

Richard Shelley English recusant

Richard Shelley was an English recusant who presented to Elizabeth I of England, or her Parliament, a petition drawn up to request greater religious tolerance for Roman Catholics. The details being disputed, he was imprisoned and died.

John Young (Regius Professor) English Catholic clergyman and academic

John Young (1514–1580) was an English Catholic clergyman and academic. He was Master of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, and was later imprisoned by Elizabeth I. He is not John Young (1534?-1605), Master of Pembroke Hall later in the century, and afterwards Bishop of Rochester.

The Wisbech Stirs was a divisive quarrel between English Roman Catholic clergy held prisoner in Wisbech Castle in Cambridgeshire, towards the end of the reign of Elizabeth I of England. It set the regular clergy represented by the Society of Jesus, emerging as clerical leaders, who wished for a more ordered communal life in the prison, against some of the secular clergy.

Henry Vaux was an English recusant, priest smuggler, and poet during the reign of Elizabeth I. He was born the eldest child of William Vaux, 3rd Baron Vaux of Harrowden, and his first wife, Elizabeth Beaumont, daughter of John Beaumont of Grace Dieu, Leicester. Both Henry Vaux's parents came from traditionally Catholic families.

John Hart was an English Jesuit, known for his equivocal behaviour on the English mission in the early 1580s.

Edward Thwing was an English Catholic priest and martyr.


  1. 1 2 Wikisource-logo.svg Wainewright, John B. (1911). "Thomas Pounde"  . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. McCoog, Thomas M. "Pounde, Thomas (1539–1615)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/69038.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. Chambers, E.K. The Elizabethan Stage. Vol. 3. Clarenden Press, 1923.
  4. PRO SP 12/157/48, 1582, ff. 105-10v.
  5. 1 2 Pounds, Wayne. Thomas Pounde's 'Challenge': A Recusant Poem of 1582. Renaissance Monographs 36. Tokyo: Renaissance Institute, Sophia University, 2009, (accessed 30 August 2010).


Henry Foley, S.J. was an English Jesuit Roman Catholic church historian.

John Morris, SJ, was an English Jesuit priest and scholar of Church history.

Richard Simpson was a British Roman Catholic writer and literary scholar. He was born at Beddington, Surrey, into an Anglican family, and was educated at Merchant Taylors' School and at Oriel College, Oxford. He obtained a BA degree on 9 February 1843. He was ordained in the Church of England, and became the vicar of Mitcham in Surrey, in 1844, the same year that he married his cousin, Elizabeth Mary Cranmer. He resigned his position some time before being received into the Catholic Church on 1 August 1846. He then spent more than a year on the continent, becoming very proficient as a linguist.

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Thomas Pounde"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton.That entry was by John B. Wainewright.

The public domain consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.

<i>Catholic Encyclopedia</i> English-language encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States and designed to serve the Roman Catholic Church. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index volume in 1914 and later supplementary volumes. It was designed "to give its readers full and authoritative information on the entire cycle of Catholic interests, action and doctrine".