Francis Tresham

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Francis Tresham
by David Herber

Born: ABT 1567
Died: 22 December 1605, Tower of London

Francis Tresham was the first son, and oldest of eleven children of Sir Thomas Tresham of Rushton, Northamptonshire and Muriel Throckmorton, daughter of Sir Robert Throckmorton of Coughton, Warwickshire. Francis was descended from a long line of respected ancestors. His great-grandfather, Sir Thomas Tresham, was appointed by Queen Elizabeth I as the Prior of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. Francis was educated at either St John's College or Gloucester Hall, or both, but the religion of his father and himself prevented his graduation. As early as 1586 he is mentioned as frequenting the French Ambassador's house with Lady Elizabeth Strange, Lady Compton, and other Catholics.

Sir Thomas Tresham, his father, at this stage had begun to suffer extreme persecution for his stubborn adherence to the Catholic Faith. In August 1581, he was arrested for the first time, committed to the Fleet prison and tried in Star Chamber for the harboring of Father Edmund Campion, along with his brothers-in-law William, Lord Vaux of Harrowden and Sir William Catesby of Lapworth. He spent the