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Home / Authors, Composers and Clinicians / SOUTHWELL, Robert(1561-1595)
SOUTHWELL, Robert(1561-1595)
Picture About SOUTHWELL, Robert(1561-1595)

Robert Southwell (c. 1561 – 21 February 1595), also Saint Robert Southwell, was an English Roman Catholic priest of the Jesuit Order. He was also a poet and clandestine missionary in post-Reformation England.

After being arrested and tortured by Sir Richard Topcliffe, Southwell was tried and convicted of high treason for his links to the Holy See. On 21 February 1595, Southwell was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. In 1970, he was canonised by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

He was born at Horsham St Faith, Norfolk, England. Southwell, the youngest of eight children, was brought up in a family of the Norfolk gentry. Despite their Catholic sympathies, the Southwells had profited considerably from King Henry VIII's Suppression of the Monasteries.

Robert was third son of Richard Southwell of Horsham St. Faith's, Norfolk, by his first wife, Bridget, daughter of Sir Roger Copley of Roughway, Sussex. The poet's maternal grandmother was Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Shelley; Sir Richard Southwell was his paternal grandfather, but his father was born out of wedlock.