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John Boste

(1544—1594) Roman Catholic priest and martyr


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(1543–94), seminary priest and martyr. Born at Dufton (Cumbria), Boste was educated at Queen's College, Oxford. In 1576 he was converted to the R.C. Church and entered the English College, Reims. He was ordained priest in 1581 and returned to England soon afterwards to an active apostolate of over ten years, mainly in the northern counties. He was sometimes disguised as a liveried servant of Lord Montacute. Eventually he was betrayed by an apostate and arrested near Durham in 1593. He was imprisoned and tortured in the Tower of London and sent back to Durham for trial in 1594. He refused to plead to the indictment that he was ordained abroad and had returned to England to extend the Catholic faith, and he also denied all involvement in political plots: ‘our function’, he said, ‘is to invade souls, not to meddle with these temporal invasions’. He was found guilty of high treason and was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Dryburn, near Durham, on 24 July. He was canonized by Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. Feast: 25 October.

From The Oxford Dictionary of Saints in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Christianity.


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