Ralph Milner

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Ralph Milner (born at Slackstead, Hampshire, England, early in the sixteenth century; executed at Winchester, 7 July 1591) was an English Roman Catholic layman. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1929.


The greater part of his life was probably passed in his native village, where, being practically illiterate, he supported his wife and eight children by manual labour. He was brought up an Anglican, but became a Catholic convert. On the very day of his first Communion, however, he was arrested for changing his religion and committed to Winchester jail.

Here his good behaviour meant he was frequently allowed out on parole, and was even trusted with the keys of the prison. This leniency enabled him to introduce priests to administer the sacraments to Catholic prisoners. He then acted as escort first to Father Thomas Stanney, and later to his successor at Winchester, Father Roger Dicconson, conducting them to the different villages to minister to Catholics.

Finally seized with Father Dicconson, Milner was with him placed under close confinement in Winchester jail pending the approaching sessions. The judge urged Milner to attend even once the Protestant church and thus escape the gallows. He refused and began to prepare for death. Every effort was made to persuade him to change his purpose and renounce the Catholic faith. When he was approaching the gallows with Father Dicconson, his children were led to him in the hope that he might even then relent. He was unshaken in his resolution, and gave his children his last blessing.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Venerable Ralph Milner" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.