Circa 1561–1595


Born: Circa 1561, Hor­sham St. Faith, Nor­folk, Eng­land.

Died: Feb­ru­ary 21, 1595, Ty­burn, Eng­land.

National Portrait Gallery

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Robert was the son of Ri­chard South­well and Bridg­et Cop­ley, daugh­ter of Sir Ro­ger Cop­ley of Rough­way (or Rough­ay), Sus­sex.

Educated in Pa­ris and Rome, he en­tered the So­cie­ty of Je­sus at Rome, Oc­to­ber 17, 1578. He spent part of his no­vi­ti­ate at Tour­nai, Bel­gium, but re­turned to Rome and com­plet­ed his stu­dies there.

He was or­dained a priest in 1584, and re­turned to Eng­land in 1586.

In 1592, he was ar­rest­ed on a charge of high trea­son. Af­ter tor­ture, and three years of so­li­ta­ry con­fine­ment in the Tow­er of Lon­don, he was for­mal­ly tried at West­min­ster, and ex­e­cut­ed the next day.