Boste, John (DNB00)

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BOSTE or BOAST, JOHN (1543?–1594), catholic priest, was born of a good family at Dufton, in Westmoreland, in or about 1543, and educated at Oxford, where he graduated M.A. On being converted to Catholicism he quitted the university repaired to the English college of Douay, then temporarily removed to Rheims, was ordained priest, and sent back on the mission in 1581. After many narrow escapes he was betraved into the hands of the Earl of Huntington, lord president of the north, who sent him to London to be examined by the privy council. He was imprisoned in the Tower, where he was 'often most cruelly rack'd, insomuch that he was afterwards forced to go crooked upon a staff.' When he had so far recovered as to be fit to travel, he was sent back to the north, and was tried and condemned for high treason at Durham, on account of exercising-his priestly functions in England. He was a man of undaunted courage and resolution, as was shown by his behaviour at the trial. George Swallowfield, formerly a minister of the established church, who was arraigned at the same time on a similar charge, showed signs of wavering, but Boste vehemently exhorted him to stand firm. Thereupon Swallowfield declared himself sincerely penitent, and Boste publicly gave him absolution in open court. Boste drawn to the place of execution, and was scarcely turned oft the ladder when he was cut down so that he stood on his feet, and in that posture was cruelly butchered alive on 19 or 24 July 1594.

[MS. Lansd. 75 f. 44; Dairies of the English College. Douay; Dodd's Church Hist. ii. 88; Challoner's Memoirs of Missionary Priests (1741). i. 312; Memorials of the Rebellion of 1569, p. 312; Strype's Annals, 199. 344.]

T. C.