|Blessed John Story|
Tyburn, London, England
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||1886, Rome by Pope Leo XIII|
He was born the son of Nicholas Story of Salisbury and educated at Hinxsey Hall, University of Oxford, where he became lecturer on civil law in 1535, being made later principal of Broadgates Hall, afterwards Pembroke College.
He appears to have temporarily abjured his Roman Catholic beliefs just after the accession of King Edward VI; however, having been chosen Member of Parliament for Salisbury in 1545 and Hindon in Wiltshire in 1547, he gained notoriety by his opposition to the Act of Uniformity in 1548. For crying out "Woe unto thee, O land, when thy king is a child," Story was imprisoned by the House of Commons, but he was soon released and went into exile.
Returning to England in 1553, he assigned his interest in his position at Oxford, which was now that of Regius Professor of civil law, and was made chancellor of the dioceses of London and of Oxford and dean of arches. Queen Mary being now on the throne, Story was one of her most active agents in prosecuting heresy, and was one of her proctors at the trial of Thomas Cranmer at Oxford in 1555.
Under Queen Elizabeth, he was again returned to Parliament ( as member for East Grinstead in 1553, Bramber in Apr 1554, Bath in Nov 1554, Ludgershall in 1555 and Downton in 1559. In 1560, he underwent a short imprisonment for boasting about his work in the former reign. In 1563, he was again arrested, but managed to escape to Flanders, where he became a pensioner of King Philip II. The Duke of Alba authorized him to exclude certain classes of books from the Netherlands and, in 1570, while engaged in this work, he was decoyed on to a ship at Antwerp and conveyed to Yarmouth.
In spite of his claim that he was a Spanish subject, he was tried for high treason (for having supported the Northern Rebellion of 1569 and encouraging the Duke of Alba to invade) and was condemned to death on May 2, 1571. He was executed at Tyburn by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 1 June 1571.
The spectacle of his trial moved St. Edmund Campion, who was present, to reconsider both his own position and his Catholic duty. In 1886, John Story was beatified by Pope Leo XIII owing to a papal decree originally approved by Pope Gregory XVI in 1859.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Story, John". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- "Bl. John Story". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Catholic Forum Patron Saints Index: Blessed John Storey
- Saint of the Day, June 1: Blessed John Storey at SaintPatrickDC.org
- "English Confessors and Martyrs (1534-1729)". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Story, John (c.1504-71) The History of Parliament online: British Political, Social and Local History