Ven. Edward Ambrose Barlow

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Edward (Ambrose) Barlow

Priest and martyr, b. at Barlow Hall, 1585; d. 10 September, 1641.

He was the fourth son of Sir Alexander Barlow, Knight of Barlow Hall, near Manchester, by Mary, daughter of Sir Uryan Brereton, Knight of Handforth Hall, Co Chester, and was baptized at Didsbury Church 30 November, 1585; the entry in the register may still be seen. Educated at the Benedictine Monastery of St. Gregory, Douai, he entered the English College, Valladolid, 20 September, 1610, but returned to Douai where his elder brother William Rudesind was a professed monk. He was himself professed in 1616 and ordained, 1617. Sent to England, he laboured in South Lancashire with apostolic zeal and fervour.

He resided chiefly at Wardley Hall, the seat of the Downe family, near Manchester, and at Morley's Hall, a man- sion of the Tyldesleys, in the parish of Leigh, some seven miles from Manchester. At the former, his skull is still preserved, in a little receptacle on the staircase. At the latter he was apprehended for the fifth and last time on Easter Sunday, 25 April, 1641. He was arrested by the Vicar of Eccles, who marched at the head of his parish- oners, clad in his surplice, and was followed by some 400 men armed with clubs and swords. He was preaching at the time and could have escaped in the confusion, but yielded himself up to his enemies, and was carried off to Lancaster Castle. Here after four months' imprisonment he was tried, on 6 or 7 September, and sentenced next day, having confessed that he was a priest. On Friday, 10 September, he suffered the usual penalties at Lancaster.

A beautiful picture of his life is given by Challoner from two manuscript relations belonging to St. Gregory's monastery, one written by his brother Dom Rudesind Barlow, President of the Anglo- Benedictine Congregation. There is another manuscript, entitled "The Apostolical Life of Ambrose Barlow", written by one of his pupils for Dom Rudesind, which is at present in the Library of Owen's College, Manchester. It is to be printed among the publications of the Chetham Society. This contains many details hitherto unpublished. Two portraits of this martyr exist and also one of his father, Sir Alexander. Many of his relics are also preserved, a hand being at Stanbrook Abbey near Worcester. A full biography is in course of preparation.

The Skull of Edward Barlow
Father Ambrose O.S.B.

Wardley Hall

The skull is said to be preserved in a little receptacle on the staircase

Contributed by Richard John Baker


  1. Pilgrimages to Old Homes
    by Fletcher Moss of The Old Parsonage, Didsbury, Esquire
    One of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County Palatine of Lancaster England
    Published by the Author, from his home, the Old Parsonage, Didsbury January 1906
ALLANSON, Biographical MSS. (preserved at Ampleforth Abbey), I; GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath. (London, 1885)
CHALLONER, Memoirs; FLETCHER MOSS, Pilgrimages to Old Homes (Didsbury, 1903); IDEM
History of Didsbury (Manchester); IDEM
Chronicles of Cheadle, Cheshire (Didsbury, 1894); DODD, Church History of England (Brussels, 1739).

Transcribed by WGKofron With thanks to St. Mary's Church, Akron, Ohio

From the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright © 1913 by the Encyclopedia Press, Inc.
Electronic version copyright © 1998 by New Advent, Inc.

Thank you to: "Kevin Knight" for allowing us to use this article.

"New Advent Catholic Website"


William Rudesind Barlow, brother to Edward Barlow

Wikipedia reference

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