Bl Edward Oldcorne SJ 1561-1606
Bl Edward Oldcorne SJ 1561-1606

Edward Oldcorne SJ

Edward Oldcorne was born in York in 1561.  Among his school friends were John and Christopher Wright and Guy Fawkes. He attended the English College at Reims. After ordination in Rome in 1587, he became a Jesuit in 1588.  He returned to England with John Gerard, and carried out clandestine ministry in the West Midlands for 17 years. He often stayed at Hindlip Hall which was adapted by Nicholas Owen to include a number of priest holes.  In 1601 Oldcorne made a pilgrimage to St Winefride's Well in north Wales to cure his throat cancer. The 

The eye of Edward Oldcorne preserved in a reliquary at Stonyhurst College

cancer cleared up and in 1605 he returned to give thanks for his recovery. Amongst his companions were Jesuits Ralph Ashley, Henry Garnet, Nicholas Owen and John Gerard.  Also the Gunpowder plotter Everard Digby. The government investigation into the Plot used this trip as 

evidence to implicate innocent participants. When the Gunpowder Plot was discovered, Oldcorne, Owen, Garnet and Ashley were at Hindlip Hall. Their hiding places were not discovered but they were starved out.  Oldcorne was tortured at the Tower of London but no evidence was found to connect him to the Plot. Nevertheless he was executed in April 1606 at Worceste, alongside John Wintour, Humphrey Littleton (who were plotters) and Ralph Ashley.  He was beatified in 1929.  The relic of his eye is preserved at Stonyhurst College.


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