360 men and women are known to have died in England for their Catholic
Faith between 1535 and 1681.
Of these, eight are associated with Chideock.
Seven were put to death and are known as the Chideock Martyrs. The eighth,
John Jessop, was put in prison for his Faith and died there. Their portraits are
displayed above the nave in the Church.
Fr.Thomas Pilchard was a Jesuit and despite being banished, in 1586 he returned
to England and became Chaplain at Chideock Castle where he was concealed.
While he was here, he made many converts including William Pike, a carpenter in Chideock.
Both were put to death in Dorchester and were beatified, together with Jessop, in 1987.
Blessed John Cornelius was a friend and Chaplain to the Arundells at Chideock
Castle. Around Easter 1594, a servant betrayed his presence and he was
arrested along with Thomas Bosgrave, a nephew of Lady Arundell, and
two servants, John Carey and Patrick Salmon, all of whom had tried to save
Fr. Cornelius. All four were executed at Dorchester on 4th July 1594 and
beatified in 1929.
Blessed Hugh Green also became Chaplain to the Arundell family and was
martyred in 1642 after being arrested at Lyme Regis as he tried to escape to France.
He was beatified in 1929.
The Martyrs Cross
, Ruins Lane (see map)
. In 1951, Lt. Col. Humphrey Weld
erected a cross made of Dorset oak on the site of the former Castle to commemorate
The Chideock Martyrs who died for their faith.