A Press Release from Council 95 (York) 0f the Knights of St Columba.

Plaque on Ouse Bridge, York to St Margaret Clitherow arranged by Knights of St Columba.

Bishop Terence Drainey of Middlesbrough is to unveil a plaque to St Margaret Clitherow at the Micklegate end of Ouse Bridge in York on Friday 29th August at 3.30pm. This will be close to the place where St Margaret was martyred on 25th March 1586. This has been arranged by Council 95 (Province 5) of the Knights of St Columba.

Margaret was executed for being a Catholic in the Tollbooth which stood on the old Ouse Bridge by being placed under a door and having weights piled on her until her ribs gave way. The old Ouse Bridge was about 50 yards down stream, from the present bridge and was demolished in the early part of the 19th century. It was close to Queen’s Staith which borders the River Ouse.

The ceremony, which is open to all will be an ecumenical event, with the emphasis on reconciliation, It will be attended by representatives of the Church of England and the Methodist Church. The Lord Mayor of York has been invited to attend along with the Sheriff of York. It should be remembered that Margaret’s step father, Henry May, was Lord Mayor in the year she was executed. After the event invited guests will attend a reception in the Grand Saloon at nearby Fairfax House. Fairfax House is probably the finest Georgian town house in England. It was owned by the Fairfax family who were Catholic recusants in the 18th century who also owned Gilling Castle near Ampleforth.

John Rayne-Davis, Deputy Grand Knight of Council 95, of the Knights of St Columba, who is organising the event, said “This will be a fitting tribute to a very brave and deeply religious woman who died for her faith. It is right that York should honour the memory of one of its notable saints”.

The wording on the plaque will read “Near to this place Margaret Clitherow of York, Saint of the Catholic Church, was martyred for her Christian faith on 25th March 1586.” The plaque will be erected by the York Civic Trust.