Martyr; born at Coniscliffe, Durham, England; died at York, 29 May 1583. From Queen’s College, Oxford, where he was in 1564-5, he went to Reims, where he was ordained priest, 18 April 1579, and left 23 May for the mission, where he ministered in or about York, and acted as confessor to Ven. Margaret Clitheroe. On the eve of the Annunciation, 1583, he was arrested while visiting one of the Catholic prisoners in the Ousebridge Kidcote, York, and at once confessed his priesthood, both to the pursuivants, who arrested him, and to the mayor before whom he was brought, and for the night was lodged in the house of the high sheriff. The next day his trial took place, at which he managed to appear in cassock and biretta. The charge was one of having reconciled the queen’s subjects to the Church of Rome. He was found guilty on 27 May and condemned 28 May. He spent the night in instructing his fellow-prisoners, and the morning of his condemnation in upholding the faith and constancy of those who were brought to the bar. No details of his execution are extant: six of his letters still remain, and are summarized by Dom Bede Camm.
- John Wainewright. “Blessed Richard Thirkeld”. . Saints.SQPN.com. 23 April 2013. Web. 23 November 2014. <>