Richard Gwyn (martyr)

Richard Gwyn (Martyr)

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Richard Gwyn (martyr)

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Saint Richard Gwyn (ca. 1537 – 15 October 1584), also known by his anglicised name, Richard White, was a Welsh school teacher. He was martyred by being hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason in 1584. He was canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. His feast day is celebrated on 17 October.

Early life

Little is known of Richard Gwyn's early life. He was born in Montgomeryshire, Wales and at the age of 20 he matriculated at Oxford University, but did not complete a degree. He then went to Cambridge University, where he lived on the charity of St John's College and its master, the Roman Catholic Dr. George Bulloch (or Bullock). At the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth I in 1558, Bulloch (or Bullock) was forced to resign the mastership; this marked the end of Gwyn's university career in England, after just two years. He then moved to the university of Douai.

Gwyn returned to Wales and became a teacher, continuing his studies on his own. He married Catherine; they had six children, three of whom survived him. His adherence to the old faith was noted by the Bishop of Chester, who brought pressure on him to conform to the Anglican faith. It is recorded in an early account of his life that<blockquote>"fter some troubles, he yielded to their desires, although greatly against his stomach ... and lo, by the Providence of God, he was no sooner come out of the church but a fearful company of crows and kites so......
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