December 10th – On this day in 1541, Charles Wriothesley wrote in his Chronicle:
“Rafe Egerton, … one of my Lord Chancellor’s servants, and … Thomas Herman, sometime servant with Fleetwood, one of my Lord Chancellor’s gentlemen, were drawn from the Tower … to Tyburn, and there hanged and quartered for counterfeiting the King’s [Henry VIII’s] Great Seal”.
And on this day in 1610, the Roman Catholic Priest – and since 1970 Saint – John Roberts was taken to be hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn for contraventing the “Act Forbidding Priests to Minister in England”.
In the event, the crowd, who revered him for the work he had done among them during an outbreak of the plague in 1603, saw to it that he died by hanging and was spared the suffering of drawing and quartering. What could be salvaged of his body was taken to the Benedictine priory he had founded at Douai in northern France. One of his finger bones is preserved as a holy relic in Tyburn Convent.