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William Clark

English priest (d. 1603)

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Clark, WILLIAM, English priest, date of birth unknown, executed at Winchester, November 29, 1603. He was educated at Douai College, which he entered August 6, 1587. Passing to the English College at Rome in 1589, he was ordained priest and returned to England in April, 1592. Active in the disputes between the seculars and the Jesuits on the appointment of Blackwell as archpriest, he was one of the thirty-three priests who signed the appeal against Black-well dated from Wisbeach Castle, November 17, 1600. Consequently he was included in the attack which Father Persons made against the characters of his opponents. When Clement VIII declared in favor of the appellant clergy (October 5, 1602) and restored to them their faculties, an attempt was made, but in vain, to exclude Clark from participation in the privilege. At this time he was in the Clink prison. On Low Sunday he was discovered preparing to say Mass in the prison and was placed in still closer confinement. Shortly after this he became connected with the mysterious conspiracy known as the “Bye Plot”. He was committed to the Gatehouse, Westminster, thence to the Tower, and finally to the Castle at Winchester. Nothing was proved against him in relation to the plot save various practices in favor of Catholic interests; nevertheless he was condemned to death November 15, and executed a fortnight later. He protested that his death was a kind of martyrdom. He is the author of “A Replie unto a certain Libell latelie set forth by Fa. Parsons”, etc. (1603, s. 1.).

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