A Yorkshireman has created a map pinpointing the birthplaces of nearly 300 martyrs of the English Reformation.

The map, put together by Graeme Garvey, 63, of Pocklington in the Yorkshire Wolds, shows a density of Catholic martyrs in the holy hotspots of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Oxfordshire. But it also demonstrates the wide geographical sweep of persecution, with martyrs coming from nearly every county in England.

The largest number – more than 50 – were from Yorkshire, while just over 30 came from Lancashire and eight, according to Garvey’s map, were born in Oxfordshire.

Garvey said moving to Pocklington four years ago had prompted him to learn about the martyrs in the area – for instance, Blessed Richard Langley, a landowner and father of four daughters who lived a mile outside the town, and who was hanged for sheltering priests.

A large Catholic uprising against Henry VIII known as the Pilgrimage of Grace also began in the Yorkshire Wolds.

“Two things started to dawn on me,” Mr Garvey wrote in a blog post at catholicherald.co.uk. First, “how much the ordinary English people loved their Catholic faith”; and, second, “the huge scale of suffering they endured”.

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