Blessed Richard Thirkeld was born in Durham, England. He was ordained priest in 1579 and ministered in or about York, and acted as confessor to Ven. Margaret Clitheroe. On the eve of the Annunciation, 1583, he was arrested while visiting Catholic prisoners in York, and at once confessed his priesthood, both to the pursuivants, who arrested him, and to the mayor before whom he was brought, and for the night was lodged in the house of the high sheriff. The next day his trial took place, at which he managed to appear in cassock and biretta. The charge was one of having reconciled the queen’s subjects to the Church of Rome. He was found guilty on 27 May and condemned 28 May. He spent the night in instructing his fellow-prisoners, and the morning of his condemnation in upholding the faith and constancy of those who were brought to the bar. No details of his execution are extant; six of his letters still remain.