Saint of the Day – 1 October – Blessed Christopher Buxton (1562–1588) Priest and Martyr Born in 1562 in Tideswell, Derbyshire, England and died by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 1 October 1588 in Canterbury, Kent, England. Additional Memorial – 29 October as one of the Martyrs of Douai. Blessed Christopher was Beatified on 15 December 1929 by Pope Pius XI.
Christopher was a student of Nicholas Garlick (c 1555 – 24 July 1588) (another Priest, martyred in Derby in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I) at the Grammar School, Tideswell, Peak District. Garlick entered the English College at Rheims on 22 June 1581. Buxton arrived about a month later.
In 1584 he was sent to the English College in Rome where he was Ordained on 26 October 1586. He had a lengthy and difficult journey across Europe, calling in at Rheims on his way to Dieppe. Word had already reached the continent concerning the government’s plans to exile or execute the Priests then held in prison. A Dr. Darbishire in Paris directed Buxton to delay his departure for the time being and in obedience Christopher complied. But eventually Buxton crossed to Kent in early September 1587.
He was arrested in Kent about two months later and taken to the Marshalsea prison. On 15 August 1588, he was examined and cross-questioned, at which time he admitted he was a Priest. As he was so young, it was thought that his constancy might be shaken by the sight of the deaths of his fellow Priests and his life was offered to him, if he would conform to the new religion. But he answered, that he would not purchase a corruptible life, at such a price and that, if he had a hundred lives, he would willingly surreder them all, in defence of the One True Faith.
While in the Marshalsea Prison he wrote a Rituale, the manuscript of which is now preserved as a Relic at Olney, Buckinghamshire. He sent this manuscript to a Priest, as the last token of his friendship, the day before he was taken from prison. He was taken to Canterbury for trial and execution. Christopher died at the age of twenty-six.
Blessed Christopher Buxton was Beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.