Corner of Yorkshire: The Shrine of Margaret Clitherow.

Amongst the tourists and the shops designed to lure them in along the Shambles in York is a plain and unassuming but historic house. It was believed to have once been home to butcher John Clitherow and his wife Margaret. In 1574 Margaret converted to Roman Catholicism and was consequently persecuted by the Protestant community of York.

She was fiercely supportive of the RC community and took to secreting priests in various attics and cubbyholes around her home to save them from arrest.

In 1586, Margaret was herself arrested and charged with harbouring Roman Catholic priests. To stop her children being questioned and tortured she refused to plead and as a result was crushed to death under a weighted door. Her hand was removed and is now kept in a petrified state in the nearby Bay Convent.

The Pope beatified Margaret in 1929 and the house on the shambles became a shrine in her honour. Rather unfortunately, it is now believed that she actually lived a few doors down.

Dave Lee

High res j-pegs here: http://bit.ly/TCCQvr

 

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