The Tudor Society

Monday Martyr – James Claxton

This week's Monday Martyr is priest James Claxton, who was executed on 28th August 1588, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

He was condemned and executed with fellow priest Thomas Felton at Brentford.

Here are some facts about James Claxton:

  • James Claxton (or Clackston, Clarkson or Clarkeson) was from Yorkshire.
  • He left England to study at the English College in Reims, France.
  • He was ordained as a deacon in April 1582 and ordained as a priest at Soissons in June 1582.
  • On 24th July 1582, he and another priest named Richard Evans set off for a mission in England.

  • At some point before 1585, Claxton was apprehended and imprisoned before being exiled abroad for being a priest.
  • Claxton didn't stay away for long. By August 1588, he had once again been apprehended and imprisoned in the Marshalsea.
  • On 26th August 1588, Claxton was tried and found guilty of being a priest and remaining in England.
  • Claxton was hanged with Felton on 28th August 1588. Six others were martyred that day in and around London.

Click here to read about Claxton's fellow martyr Thomas Felton.

Notes and Sources

  • Challoner, R (1839) Memoirs Of Missionary Priests And Other Catholics Of Both Sexes That Have Suffered Death In England On Religious Accounts From The Year 1577 To 1684, Two Volumes In One, pp. 134-136.
  • Pollen, John Hungerford (1914) Lives of the English Martyrs, pp. 399-407.

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Monday Martyr – James Claxton