Robert Anderton

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Bl. Robert Anderton
Born circa 1560
Died 25 April 1586
Isle of Wight
Venerated in Roman Catholicism
Beatified 1929 by Pius XI
Feast 25 April

Robert Anderton (c. 1560 – 25 April 1586) was an English Roman Catholic priest and martyr. He has been declared 'Blessèd' by the Roman Catholic Church. His feast day is 25 April.

He was born in Lancashire [1] around 1560. He graduated from Oxford University in 1578. Shortly thereafter he went abroad and converted to Roman Catholicism. He entered the college at Reims in 1580, and there met William Marsden. The two were ordained to the priesthood there.[2]

Upon finishing their studies, Anderton and Marsden set sail for England. They were caught in a storm while crossing the English Channel. They prayed that they would be allowed to die on land rather than at sea. They were driven ashore by the storm onto the Isle of Wight, and quickly seized by the local authorities. In court, they pleaded that they had not violated the law by landing in England, as their landing was involuntary, being forced ashore by the storm.[2]

This led to their being summoned to London, where they were given the opportunity to take the Oath of Supremacy, acknowledging Elizabeth as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Although they acknowledged Elizabeth as their lawful queen in all secular affairs, they would not swear the Oath. As failure to take the oath was considered treason under the Second Act of Supremacy, Anderton and Marsden were found guilty of treason. The sentence was then confirmed, and a proclamation was published, explaining their guilt. They were taken back to the Isle of Wight near the spot where they had landed and executed by hanging, drawing, and quartering on 25 April 1586.[2]

He was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.


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