Thomas Whitaker (1614 at Burnley, Lancashire – executed 7 August 1646 at Lancaster) was an English Roman Catholic priest. A Catholic martyr, he was beatified in 1987.
Son of Thomas Whitaker, schoolmaster, and Helen, his wife, he was educated first at his father's school. By the influence of the Towneley family he was then sent to Valladolid, where he studied for the priesthood.
After ordination (1638) he returned to England, and for five years worked in Lancashire. On one occasion he was arrested, but escaped while being conducted to Lancaster Castle.
He was again seized at Blacke Hall in Goosnargh, and committed to Lancaster Castle, 7 August 1643, undergoing solitary confinement for six weeks. For three years he remained in prison. Before his trial he made a month's retreat in preparation for death.
He declined all attempts made to induce him to conform to Anglicanism by the offer of his life. He was executed with Edward Bamber and John Woodcock, saying to the sheriff: "Use your pleasure with me, a reprieve or even a pardon upon your conditions I utterly refuse".
Lancaster Castle is a medieval castle in Lancaster in the English county of Lancashire. Its early history is unclear, but may have been founded in the 11th century on the site of a Roman fort overlooking a crossing of the River Lune. In 1164, the Honour of Lancaster, including the castle, came under royal control. In 1322 and 1389 the Scots invaded England, progressing as far as Lancaster and damaging the castle. It was not to see military action again until the English Civil War. The castle was first used as a prison in 1196 although this aspect became more important during the English Civil War. The castle buildings are owned by the British sovereign as Duke of Lancaster; part of the structure is used to host sittings of the Crown Court.
Thomas of Lancaster, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, 2nd Earl of Leicester, 2nd Earl of Derby, jure uxoris 4th Earl of Lincoln and jure uxoris 5th Earl of Salisbury was an English nobleman. A member of the House of Plantagenet, he was one of the leaders of the baronial opposition to his first cousin, King Edward II.
Edmund Arrowsmith, SJ was one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales of the Catholic Church. The main source of information on Arrowsmith is a contemporary account written by an eyewitness and published a short time after his death. This document, conforming to the ancient style of the "Acts of martyrs" includes the story of the execution of another 17th-century Recusant martyr, Richard Herst.
Ambrose Edward Barlow, O.S.B., was an English Benedictine monk who is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. He is one of a group of saints canonized by Pope Paul VI who became known as the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
John Southworth was an English Catholic martyr. He is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
John WoodcockO.F.M. (1603–1646) was a Franciscan priest from Lancashire executed in August 1646 under the 1585 "Act against Jesuits, Seminary priests and other such like disobedient persons" for being a priest and present in the realm.
James Pilkington (1520–1576), was the first Protestant Bishop of Durham from 1561 until his death in 1576. He founded Rivington Grammar School and was an Elizabethan author and orator.
Clitheroe Castle is a ruined early medieval castle in Clitheroe in Lancashire, England. It was the caput of the Honour of Clitheroe, a vast estate stretching along the western side of the Pennines.
Robert Nutter was an English Catholic priest, Dominican friar and martyr. He was beatified in 1987.
Edward Bamber was an English Roman Catholic priest. He was beatified in 1987.
John Finch was an English Roman Catholic farmer. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1929.
Thomas Tunstall (Tunstal) was an English Roman Catholic priest. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1929.
John Thulis (Thules) was an English Roman Catholic priest. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1987.
The trials of the Pendle witches in 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history, and some of the best recorded of the 17th century. The twelve accused lived in the area surrounding Pendle Hill in Lancashire, and were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft. All but two were tried at Lancaster Assizes on 18–19 August 1612, along with the Samlesbury witches and others, in a series of trials that have become known as the Lancashire witch trials. One was tried at York Assizes on 27 July 1612, and another died in prison. Of the eleven who went to trial – nine women and two men – ten were found guilty and executed by hanging; one was found not guilty.
Richard Herst (Hurst) was an English Roman Catholic recusant layman. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1929.
The Samlesbury witches were three women from the Lancashire village of Samlesbury – Jane Southworth, Jennet Bierley, and Ellen Bierley – accused by a 14-year-old girl, Grace Sowerbutts, of practising witchcraft. Their trial at Lancaster Assizes in England on 19 August 1612 was one in a series of witch trials held there over two days, among the most famous in English history. The trials were unusual for England at that time in two respects: Thomas Potts, the clerk to the court, published the proceedings in his The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster; and the number of the accused found guilty and hanged was unusually high, ten at Lancaster and another at York. All three of the Samlesbury women were acquitted.
Thomas Gerard, 1st Baron Gerard was a Staffordshire and Lancashire landowner and politician, a member of six English parliaments for three different constituencies. Although a prominent member of the Essex faction in the reign of Elizabeth I, he avoided involvement in the Essex Rebellion and received greater honours, including a peerage, in the reign of James I.
James Bell was an English Catholic priest and the only one of the Marian Priests that is known to have suffered martyrdom.
During the English Reformation, a number of believers were executed at Lancaster in England as a consequence of their Catholic faith. They are commonly referred to as the Lancaster Martyrs and are commemorated locally by the Lancaster Martyrs Memorial Stone which may be found close to the centre of Lancaster city.
Paul Swarbrick is a Roman Catholic prelate, who has served as Bishop of Lancaster since 2018.