22.08.

1572: Thomas Percy – The Count who was Publicly Executed Because he Was a Catholic

1572: Thomas Percy – The Count who was Publicly Executed Because he Was a Catholic
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Samples of Catholic religious objects—The Holy Bible, a Crucifix, and a Rosary

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 22 August 1572
  • Blessed Thomas Percy, who was a Catholic, lived when the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I (a member of the Tudor dynasty) ruled England. The English allegedly told Thomas Percy to renounce his Catholic faith, and they would spare his life if he did so. He refused and was publicly executed on this day in 1572.

Thomas Percy was a member of the English aristocracy. He held the title of “Earl of Northumberland” (the English title of earl is similar to the title of count in the rest of Europe).

He was also addressed as “Lord Northumberland” (the English barons, Viscounts, Earls and Marquises are also addressed as lords).

Blessed Thomas Percy, who was a Catholic, lived when the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I (a member of the Tudor dynasty) ruled England.

Thomas’s father was executed because he was a Catholic, which happened when Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, ruled England (he broke all ties with the Catholic Church).

In the beginning, Queen Elizabeth I wasn’t against Thomas. He owned large estates in the north of England, and held the position of “Warden of the Marches” (responsible for the security of the areas near the border with Scotland).

But, relations between Protestants and Catholics in England became very strained. It is well known that Catholic families could only secretly “practice” their faith, and there were even special holes in the houses so Catholic priests could find their shelter in the case of a raid.

The Catholics’ uprising against the Protestant authorities broke out in the north of England (the so-called Rising of the North). Bl. Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, was one of its main leaders.

But, the uprising failed, and Bl. Thomas Percy was caught in Scotland. He was extradited to the English government, supposedly for 2,000 pounds.

The English allegedly told Thomas Percy to abandon his Catholic faith, and they would spare his life. He refused to do so, and was publicly executed on this day in 1572.

Pope Leo XIII beatified Thomas Percy in 1895.

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