Southwell, Saint Robert

Southwell, Saint Robert
(?1561-1595)
   Born near Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk, in the early part of Queen Elizabeth's reign, when being a Roman Catholic was becoming dangerous, he was sent to the French Jesuit college at Douai, became a Jesuit novice in 1578 in Rome and was ordained a priest in 1584. While he was away, a law was passed that made it illegal for priests ordained abroad to enter England, so when he returned in 1586 he was a hunted man. He spent six years sheltering in various houses, including that of Anne Howard, Countess of Arundel, for whom he was chaplain. He was arrested in 1592 while serving mass, repeatedly tortured to betray his fellow priests, imprisoned in the Tower of London and hanged at Tyburn on February 21, 1595. Southwell was declared blessed by Pope Pius XI in 1929 and canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970. Some of his poems: "At Fotheringay," "At Home in Heaven," "Fortune's Falsehoode," "Saint Peter's Complaint," "The Assumption of Our Lady," "The Burning Babe," "The Martyrdom of Mary, Queen of Scots," "Upon the Image of Death," "What Joy to Live."
   Sources: A New Canon of English Poetry. James Reeves, and Martin Seymour-Smith, ed. Barnes and Noble, 1967. An Anthology of Catholic Poets. Shane Leslie, ed. Macmillan, 1952. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). English Verse 1830-1890. Bernie Richards, ed. Longman, 1980). Microsoft Encarta 2006 (DVD). Microsoft Corporation, 2006. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Complete Poems of Robert Southwell. Alexander B. Grosart, ed. Reprint Services, 1872. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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