Blessed John Speed (Spence)
FEAST DAY :-FEBRUARY 4
Born in Durham; died there 1594; beatified in 1929. John was a layman martyred for befriending and aiding Catholic priests
John Speed OR Spence executed at Durham, 4 February 1594
English martyr, executed at Durham, 4 Feb., 1593-4, for assisting the venerable martyr St. John Boste, whom he used to escort from one Catholic house to another. He died with constancy, despising the inducements offered to bring him to conformity. With him was condemned Mrs. Grace Claxton, wife of William Claxton, of the Waterhouse, in the parish of Brancepeth, Durham, at whose house Boste was taken and probably Speed also. She was, however, reprieved on being found to be with child.
In 1929, John Speed was beatified by Pope Pius XI as one of the Durham Martyrs. The priest John Boste was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970 among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.