Vicente Carducho: Martyre def John Rochester et de James Walworth.
Bienheureux Jean Rochester et Jacques Walworth
Chartreux martyrs en Angleterre (✝ 1537)
John Rochester originaire de Terling dans l'Essex et James Walworth étaient moines de la Chartreuse de Londres, ils refusèrent de prêter allégeance au serment de suprématie du roi Henri VIII et furent martyrisés à York. Béatifiés en 1886.
À York en Angleterre, l’an 1537, les bienheureux martyrs Jean Rochester et Jacques Walworth, prêtres et moines de la chartreuse de Londres. Pour avoir refusé de reconnaître la suprématie du roi Henri VIII dans le domaine spirituel, ils furent pendus par des chaînes à des pins de la ville et leurs corps demeurèrent en place jusqu’à ce que les membres se détachent.
SOURCE : http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/11673/Bienheureux-Jean-Rochester-et-Jacques-Walworth.html
Blessed James Walworth &
John Rochester, O. Cart. MM (AC)
Died York, England, 1537; beatified in 1886. James Walworth and John Rochester were Carthusian monks of the London Charterhouse. Together they were hanged in chains at York at the command of King Henry VIII. Rochester was born at Terling, Essex (Benedictines).
Carthusian Martyrs in York, 1537
On May 11, 1537, two of the Carthusians of the Charterhouse of London began their agonizing and slow death by being hung in chains from the York city battlements: Blessed John Rochester and Blessed James Walworth. They were beatified by Pope Leo XIII on the 29th of December in 1886 (December 29 is the feast of St. Thomas a Becket so the Pope chose an appropriate date).
After the first three Carthusian priors were executed on May 4, 1535, the next three leaders in line, Humphrey Middlemore, William Exmew and Sebastian Newdigate, were executed on June 19 that same year and these two monks were taken from London to the Charterhouse of St. Michael in Hull. In the wake of the Pilgrimage of Grace, Rochester and Walworth were tried in York by Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk and found guilty of treason.
The Catholic Encyclopedia offers this detail about Blessed John Rochester:
Priest and martyr, born probably at Terling, Essex, England, about 1498; died at York, 11 May, 1537. He was the third son of John Rochester, of Terling, and Grisold, daughter of Walter Writtle, of Bobbingworth. He joined the Carthusians, was a choir monk of the Charterhouse in London, and strenuously opposed the new doctrine of the royal supremacy. He was arrested and sent a prisoner to the Carthusian convent at Hull. From there he was removed to York, where he was hung in chains. With him there suffered one James Walworth (?Wannert; Walwerke), Carthusian priest and martyr, concerning whom little or nothing is known. He may have been the "Jacobus Walwerke" who signed the Oath of Succession of 1534.
So if he had taken the Oath of Succession in 1534, Blessed James Walworth must have recanted his oath or refused the Oath of Supremacy in 1535.
It must have been an agonizing death--hanging until death by exposure and dehydration--left like their brother Carthusians in Newgate Prison in London as this site notes:
Ten continued to refuse, and on 1st June 1537 were imprisoned in Newgate. There they were left, and all but one died of starvation and ill-usage. They were: Richard Bere, Thomas Johnson and Thomas Green, priests; John Davy, deacon; and Brothers William Greenwood, Thomas Scryven, Robert Salt, Walter Pierson, Thomas Redyng and William Horn. The last-named lingered in Newgate for nearly three years, and was finally executed on 4th August 1540.
The image above does not depict the Carthusians hanging from the battlements; it is from the Wikipedia entry for Blessed John Rochester. It is by Vicente Carducho and is part of a series of paintings in the Charterhouse of El Paular near Madrid. The article on John Rochester includes these details about their trial and execution:
The two London monks were brought from Hull to York and brought before the Lord President of the North, the Duke of Norfolk, on trumped up treason charges. Condemned to death, they provided the desired menacing spectacle for the city when on 11 May 1537 both were hanged in chains from the city battlements until their bodies fell to pieces.
Blessed martyrs of the Carthusians, pray for us!
Bl. John Rochester
Priest and martyr, born probably at Terling, Essex, England, about 1498; died at York, 11 May, 1537. He was the third son of John Rochester, of Terling, and Grisold, daughter of Walter Writtle, of Bobbingworth. He joined the Carthusians, was a choir monk of the Charterhouse in London, and strenuously opposed the new doctrine of the royal supremacy. He was arrested and sent a prisoner to the Carthusian convent at Hull. From there he was removed to York, where he was hung in chains. With him there suffered one James Walworth (?Wannert; Walwerke), Carthusian priest and martyr, concerning whom little or nothing is known. He may have been the "Jacobus Walwerke" who signed the Oath of Succession of 1534. John Rochester was beatified in 1888 by Leo XIII.
His elder brother, Sir Robert Rochester, K.G. (b. about 1494; d. 28 Nov., 1557), was a zealous Catholic. Before 1551 he had received the appointment of comptroller of the household to Princess Mary Tudor. In that year the Privy Council ordered him to prevent any priest saying Mass in the princess's household, but he refused to interfere in any way with her private devotions, and was accordingly sent to the Tower. The next year he was allowed to retire to the country on account of his health, and was soon permitted to take up the post of comptroller once more. When the princess ascended the throne as Mary I, she remembered Rochester's faithful service. He was made chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; and he entered the inner circle of the Privy Council. He was one of the parliamentary representatives of Essex, 1553-5. He was buried at the Charterhouse at Sheen.
Gillow, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath., s.v. Rochester, John; Chauncy, Hist. aliquot Martyrum Anglorum . . . Cartusianorum (Montreuil and London, 1888); Morris, The Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers (1st series, London, 1872); Pollard, in Dict. Nat. Biog.., s.v. Rochester, Sir Robert.
Brown, C.F. Wemyss. "Bl. John Rochester." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 11 May 2017 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08483b.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Richard E. Cullen.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
Carthusian priest and choir monk at the London Charterhouse. Exiled by the government to the Charterhouse of Saint Michael at Hull, Yorkshire. Martyred with Blessed John Rochester.
Beati Giovanni Rochester e Giacomo Walworth Sacerdoti certosini, martiri
† York, Inghilterra, 11 maggio 1537
Martirologio Romano: A York in Inghilterra, beati martiri Giovanni Rochester e Giacomo Walworth, sacerdoti e monaci della Certosa di Londra, che sotto il re Enrico VIII per la loro fedeltà alla Chiesa furono appesi con delle catene ai merli delle mura della città fino alla morte.
Oggi in occasione della ricorrenza dell’11 maggio voglio ricordare altre due figure dell’Ordine certosino che pagarono con la vita, la loro fedeltà al pontefice di Roma. Giovanni Rochester e Giacomo Walworth, erano entrambi monaci coristi della certosa di Londra, che furono prelevati e trasferiti a Hull, nello Yorkshire nella certosa di San Michele. La comunità monastica certosina di Hull aveva firmato nel 1535, contrariamente ai confratelli londinesi, l’Atto di Supremazia e pertanto gli era stato concesso di continuare a svolgere regolarmente l’attività monastica. Gli eventi succedutisi tra l’autunno del 1536 e la primavera del 1537, a seguito della dissoluzione dei monasteri voluta da Thomas Cromwell, coinvolgeranno indirettamente i protagonisti della nostra triste vicenda. A seguito di una tumultuosa rivolta dei cattolici contro le imposizioni del re, che ebbe il suo acme il 13 ottobre 1536, ed è nota sotto il nome di Pellegrinaggio di Grazia (Pilgrimage of Grace), Enrico VIII rimase scosso, e di fronte ad una ribellione che vide coinvolte circa quarantamila persone, dovette reagire. Essendo stata York, la città dove vi era stato il focolaio più acceso dei rivoltosi, ritenne di dare una severa lezione in quella area geografica. Giovanni Rochester e Giacomo Walworth, furono perciò artatamente trasferiti ad Hull, forse con l’intento di farli conformare nell’abiura al papa, i due invece continuarono ad opporsi, e per tal motivo furono condannati di tradimento dal duca di Norfolk emissario del re. L’11 maggio del 1537, i due martiri certosini furono impiccati con catene, sui merli delle mura della città di York, e lasciati morire in una lenta agonia, i loro corpi furono lasciati alle intemperie ed alla voracità dei rapaci per diversi giorni. Il loro sacrificio estremo, doveva avere lo scopo di scoraggiare ogni altro tentativo di sommossa popolare. Entrambi i due martiri certosini, furono beatificati da papa Leone XIII il 9 dicembre del 1886, e vengono ricordati come tutti gli altri martiri inglesi il 4 maggio, mentre la Chiesa di York li ricorda specificamente oggi 11 maggio.
Giovanni Rochester, nacque probabilmente intorno al 1498 a Terling, nella contea di Essex in Inghilterra. Egli fu il terzo figlio di Giovanni Rochester e Grisold Writtle di Bobbingworth, da giovane decise di entrare nella certosa di Londra, diventendone monaco corista. Come abbiamo appreso, per la sua strenua opposizione alla supremazia del monarca Enrico VIII, fu costretto a spostarsi da Londra ad Hull, ed a subire un processo che lo condannò ad una morte straziante.
Giacomo Walworth, delle sue origini e della sua giovinezza si conosce ben poco, purtroppo risalta alla cronaca per aver condiviso con il confratello Giovanni Rochester, gli ultimi anni della sua vita, terminata come abbiamo visto in maniera brutale.