Davies, William (d.1593) (DNB00)

DAVIES, WILLIAM (d. 1593), catholic divine, born in Carnarvonshire or, according to another account, at Crois in Yris, Denbighshire, became a student in the English college at Rheims, and after being ordained priest was sent back to the mission in Wales in 1585. Going to Holyhead in March 1591–2 to procure a passage to Ireland for four young men who desired to proceed to the college at Valladolid, he and his companions were apprehended and committed as prisoners to Beaumaris Castle. At the ensuing assizes Davies was arraigned for high treason on account of his priestly character, while the young men were charged with felony for having been found in his company. All were found guilty and sent back to prison until the queen and her council should signify what was to be done with them. Not long afterwards Davies was removed to Ludlow, where the council of the marches of Wales was sitting. There the most learned ministers of the country held conferences with him, and the president of the council neglected no means of bringing him to conformity. From Ludlow he was transferred to Bewdley, and to other gaols, and at last was sent back to Beaumaris, where he rejoined his four companions, with whom he formed a kind of religious community in the prison. At the assizes for the county of Anglesey held in 1593 Davies was placed at the bar and sentenced to death. He was accordingly drawn, hanged, and quartered at Beaumaris on 21 July 1593.

[Challoner's Missionary Priests (1741), i. 294; Yepes's Hist. de la Persecucion de Inglaterra, p. 652; Gillow's Bibl. Dict.; Notes and Queries, 6th ser. v. 163.]

T. C.