Why did Edmund Campion have to die?
Like many other Catholic priests and leaders who were executed during the Tudor realm, Edmund Campion (1540-1581) was also executed for his pro-Catholic beliefs. A brilliant scholar and orator, Campion was once considered a possible husband of the young Queen Elizabeth I. However, his Jesuit beliefs eventually ran afoul of the anti-Catholic/pro-Church of England monarchy, and Campion was forced to live in hiding for much of his life. He was eventually captured and returned to London to face trial. Tortured on several occasions (including severe treatment on the rack), Campion met with the Queen, who offered him "wealth and dignities" should he reject his Catholic faith, which he refused to do. His conduct during various public conferences won him many admirers. However, he was eventually indicted on conspiracy charges of sedition and trying to dethrone the Queen. Later scholars have concluded that there was no basis to the charges, but he was condemned to be executed as a traitor. Campion was hanged before being drawn and quartered. He was made a saint in 1970 by Pope Paul VI and is known as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.