Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fetherston, Richard

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FETHERSTON, RICHARD (d. 1540), Catholic martyr, was chaplain to Queen Catherine of Arragon, and schoolmaster to her daughter Mary, afterwards queen. Pits styles him 'sacrae theologiae doctor,' but there is no record of his having taken a degree, either in Wood's 'Athenae Oxonienses' or in Cooper's 'Athenae Cantabrigienses.' He sat in the convocation which commenced in April 1528, and was one of the small minority who refused to sign the declaration that Henry VIII's marriage with Catherine was illegal, on the ground that the pope had no power of dispensation in such a case. After the passing of the Act of Supremacy he refused to take the oath enjoined in thereby, and was in consequence committed to the Tower on 13 Dec. 1531. On 30 July 1540 he was hanged, headed, and quartered at Smithfield, together with Dr. Barnes, Garret, Jerome, Powell, and Abel. He wrote a treatise, 'Contra divortium Henrici et Catherini.'

[Cal. State Papers. Hen. VIII. vi, 311, 1199, vii. 214 n., viii, 868, 1001; Foxe, v. 438; Pits, p. 729; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. Hib. p.278; Grafton's Chronicle, i. 474; Wriothesley's Chronicle, f. 120, 121.]

C. T. M.