Blessed Anthony Turner

Blessed Anthony Turner

Anthony Turner


  • Death: 06/20/1679
  • Nationality (place of birth): England

Anthony Turner (1628-1679) was one of five Jesuits caught in the web of lies concocted by Titus Oates who accused the Jesuits of assassinate King Charles III and overthrow the government. Although the story was patently fictitious, the Jesuits paid with their lives. Turner was the son of a Protestant minister but he converted to Catholicism while he was studying at the University of Cambridge. He and his brother left England to study at the English College in Rome, and then in April 1653, Turner made his way to Flanders where he entered the novitiate. He studied theology at Li&egraved;ge and was ordained in 1659. Two years later he returned to his homeland and served Catholics for 18 fruitful years in the Worcestershire area. When the Oates plot broke, Turner longed to suffer for the church but his superiors urged him to leave the country. He journeyed to London in January 1679 hoping to find a Jesuit who would give him the money to get out of the country. His search was unsuccessful, he gave the last of his coins away to a beggar and then turned himself in as a priest and Jesuit. Although his name was not on Oates' list, authorities moved him to Newgate where he was tried with his brothers.

For more details of this complex but fascinating story, see the entry under Blessed Thomas Whitbread.

Other English Martyrs

Originally Collected and edited by: Tom Rochford, SJ