Blessed Thomas Bosgrave – Executed for a Hat

When Fr. John Cornelius was arrested in 1594 by the sheriff of Dorsetshire, he was hurried away without his hat. And of course, every man wore a hat outside.

So Thomas Bosgrave, a fellow Cornishman, stuck his own hat on the priest’s head, saying that “The honor I owe to your functions will not suffer me to see you go bare-headed.”

So the wicked Sheriff Trenchard arrested him too.

Mr. Bosgrave was executed along with Fr. Cornelius and his brave companions (two Irish Catholic servants in the household where Fr. Cornelius was caught). Challoner describes him as a “man of reading” who was able to make a speech from the scaffold about the certainty of the Catholic faith that was so compelling that no Protestant minister dared to heckle it or reply to it. He was hung, but not drawn and quartered like Fr. Cornelius.

He was beatified, along with Cornelius and his companions, in 1929.


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