St Margaret Clitherow - St Wilfrids Catholic High School and Sixth Form College

St Margaret Clitherow

St Margaret Clitherow (1556-1586)

Born in York, she was first a Protestant but converted to Catholicism in the 1570s. Married to John who owned a butcher’s shop on the Shambles. She had three children. As well as a butcher, John was responsible for reporting any Catholic to the authorities. Margaret became a recusant (non-church attender) and John paid fines for her until she was eventually arrested and imprisoned for nearly two years. Here she learnt Latin so she could participate in Holy Mass. On her release, she secretly housed priests in a concealed room in her house and kept the sacred vessels required for the Mass. She was found out and arrested. She refused to go on trial which led to her being automatically sentenced to death. She was executed by being pressed to death on Ouse Bridge in1586.