Ashton, ROGER, VENERABLE, Martyr, third son of Richard Ashton of Creston, in Lancashire. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, June 23, 1592. His indictment is not preserved. Challoner says it was for procuring a dispensation from Rome to marry his second cousin. Later evidence, while confirming this, shows that it was not the only cause. In 1585 he had gone to serve in the Low Countries under the Earl of Leicester against the Spaniards. Sir William Stanley having been placed on guard over the town of Deventer, which had revolted from the Spaniards, he, with the assistance of Ashton, gave the town back to Spain and went over to their side (January 29, 1587). Cardinal Allen published a “Defense” of this act in the form of a letter addressed to one “R. A.”, whose letter to the Cardinal is prefixed, and under these initials it seems natural to recognize our martyr. Stanley next entrusted to Ashton the difficult task of bringing over his wife from Ireland, but she was already under arrest, and he is said to have then sent Ashton to Rome. At the close of the year 1587 he returned to England and was apprehended in Kent with the marriage dispensation already mentioned. In January, 1588, he was in the Tower, where he lay till towards the close of the year, when he was transferred to easier confinement in the Marshalsea. From this he managed to escape and he fled to his brothers in Lancashire. He was seized later, at Shields near Newcastle, while trying to escape over the seas. Transferred thence to Durham and York, he was tried and sentenced at Canterbury, and died “very resolute”, making profession of his faith and”.. pitied of the people”, though the infamous Topcliffe tried to stir up ill-feeling against him by enlarging on his services to Spain.