martyr. Born at Congleton, Cheshire at an unknown date, she went into service from an early age, mainly with the Whittle family in London. She is known principally for her share in the escape of the priest William Watson from the Bridewell prison, accomplished through her smuggling a rope into his cell. Although injured by his fall from the roof, he got away, but the rope was traced to Margaret, who was soon arrested. She was severely tortured but refused to reveal Watson's hiding-place. She also rejected an offer of freedom as the price of conforming to the Church of England. She was tried at the Old Bailey on 29 August and was executed the next day, together with one priest and four laymen. Margaret Ward was canonized by Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. Feast: 25 October.
Documents relating to the English Martyrs (Catholic Record Society, vol. v); L. E. Whatmore, Blessed Margaret Ward (pamphlet, 1961).