Thomas Johnson (monk)

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Thomas Johnson, O.Cart., (died 20 September 1537) was a Carthusian hermit who was executed by starvation in Tudor England. He is venerated as a martyr and has been beatified by the Catholic Church.

Johnson and other members of the London Charterhouse had been arrested for refusing to sign the Oath of Supremacy. Like the others, after incarceration in Newgate Prison he was left to starve. Margaret Clement was temporarily able to bring him and the other Carthusians some food, by entering in disguise, but after King Henry VIII became suspicious from their continued survival, this was ended. Johnson took the longest to die of starvation, possibly because food had finally been allowed for him, in expectation that he would ultimately be executed instead.

A lay brother of the community named Horne survived and was not executed until 1540. In that year he was hanged, disembowelled, and quartered at Tyburn.

Thomas Johnson and the other Carthusian Martyrs were beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886.[1]

There is a painting of Johnson in the church of the Certosa di Bologna.


  1. ^ PD-icon.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Blessed Thomas Johnson". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 

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