Sunday, 22 August 2010
Aug 22 1679 - St John Kemble at age 80 suffered prolonged hanging and was then beheaded
First, though, the 80-year-old was strapped on to a horse like a pack, facing backwards, and taken to Newgate in London for interrogation. Kemble disdained to win his freedom by disclosing a non-existent plot. The old man was then obliged to walk back to Hereford.
Informed on August 22 that he would be executed that day, he asked to be allowed to finish his prayers and smoke his pipe.
After being dragged on a hurdle to Widemarsh Common, Kemble declared on the scaffold that he died for the religion that had made this country Christian, and that he forgave all his enemies. He was then obliged to encourage the executioner, who had no stomach for his task.
The hanging was horribly botched, so that Kemble took half an hour to die. Subsequently he was beheaded, and his left hand cut off: this may still be seen at the church of St Francis Xavier in Hereford.
On August 22 there will be a pilgrimage to John Kemble’s grave, starting from St Mary’s, Monmouth, at 10am.”
The Bashing Secularism blog also has a good bit on St. John Kemble, noting that St. John is a wonderful saint for old people; that in memory of his horrific suffering, that they may pray to him that their ailments of old age are alleviated.