Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Feast of Bl. James Duckett!

James Duckett (d. April 19, 1601), an English Catholic recusant martyr, was brought to court and condemned for possessing Catholic books. He had had a number of run-ins with the law before that, however, and had spent several years in prison for having distributed Catholic literature. He was a convert, and was converted by having read a book which was given him by a friend. His trade was in publishing/printing and bookselling.

Bl. James was betrayed by his bookbinder, who turned him in in an attempt to free his own hide from prison. Nonetheless, both of them were sent to the gallows in the same cart. As related by Bl. James's son, John Duckett, later Prior of the English Carthusians at Nieuport, Flanders, Bl. James was offered a cup of wine on his way to martyrdom, whereupon he drank and urged his wife to drink to his betrayer and to forgive him.

Bl. James Duckett was executed this day, 1601. He was beatified by Pius XI on December 15, 1929. We at Loome's take him as a noble bookish patron.

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