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Our Lady Queen of the Martyrs Pray for us

Our Lady Queen of the Martyrs Pray for us

Monday, October 12, 2009

St.David Lewis ( Last Welsh Martyr )

He was born at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, in 1616 and raised as a Protestant.

At sixteen years of age, while visiting Paris, he converted to Catholicism and subsequently went to study in Rome, where in 1642 he was ordained as a Catholic priest. Three years later, he became a Jesuit.

He was arrested in November 1678, at Llantarnam in Monmouthshire, and condemned as a Roman Catholic priest and for saying Catholic masses, at the Assizes in Monmouth in March 1679. Like St John Wall and St John Kemble, he was then sent to London to be examined by Titus Oates (the originator of the Popish Plot) and others.

He was brought for trial at the Lenten Assizes in Monmouth on 16 March 1679. He was brought to the bar on a charge of High Treason – for having become a Catholic priest and then remaining in England.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge of being an accessory to the Popish Plot, but five or six witnesses claimed they had seen him say Mass and perform other priestly duties. For this Lewis was found guilty and sentenced to death by Sir Robert Atkins. The condemned priest was brought to Newgate Prison in London with John Kemble (Herefordshire) and questioned about the "plot". Oates, William Bedloe, Dugdale and Prace were unable to prove anything against him. Lord Shaftesbury advised him that if he gave evidence about the "plot" or renounced his Catholic faith, that his life would be spared and he would be greatly rewarded. Lewis said in his dying speech, "discover the plot I could not, as I knew of none; and conform I would not, for it was against my conscience". He was returned to Usk and waited for three months for his call to death by execution.

He was finally brought back to Usk in Monmouthshire for his execution, and was hanged on 27 August 1679. After the Titus Oates affair (1679–80), the remaining Welsh-speaking Catholic clergy were either executed or exiled.


  1. Stephen
    I am delighted that you've picked up St David Lewis - he's a grand man! I don't know if you know about the following blog or not, but I thought I'd send you the information just in case you haven't heard about it. It is helpful in getting your blog out to more people. God bless.

    British Catholic Blogs
    Are you British? Are you Catholic? Do you have a blog? If the answer is yes to these questions and you would like your blog to be listed here, then write to britishcatholicbloggers [at] and it shall be done!

  2. Thank you Breadgirl, unfortunately I am not british so I cannot apply. I am Irish you see.

    I will try my best to search for an Irish one if there be such a site that caters for my need.

    Thank you once again and may the Lord keep you safe and under his mighty wing of protection always.

    God bless
    ( our Lady Queen of the Martyrs, pray for us.)

  3. Stephen,
    Sorry about that - my mistake! I hope you get loads of followers because your blog is good and you are doing a good job spreading the news. God bless.

  4. Its ok breadgirl no need to apologise. I did live in Scotland though for some years and had retained a British national insurance number, not sure that counts me as a citizen though. :)

    I give all credit to the Holy spirit who, being the spirit of truth, uses both me, you and all his children to jumpstart those souls whose spiritual batteries have died, and that the wheels of faith may once again start rolling ;-)

    God bless and take care