John Britton (martyr)

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The blessed John Britton (Bretton) (died 1 April 1598) was an English Catholic martyr from Barnsley, Yorkshire, who was executed during the reign of Elizabeth I. He was beatified in 1987.[1]


A member of the old, established Breton family, Britton was a devout Catholic.[2] Known as a zealous Catholic, he was subjected to continual vexations and persecutions, which caused him to absent himself from his wife and family for safety.[3] As an old man, he was accused of making traitorous speeches against the queen and condemned to death. He refused to renounce his faith, and was executed at York on 1 April 1598. He was probably the father of Dr. Matthew Britton, prefect and professor at Douai in 1599.