|The only alias that made any sense|
Blessed Thomas Alfield was yet another of the Douai-trained priests who returned to England to keep Catholicism alive during the reign of Elizabeth I. If this is unfamiliar, read the next paragraph, headed by the word Background. If this is familiar, jump to the subsequent paragraph, entitled The Spirit Was Willing.
|Definitely not a saint|
The Spirit Was Willing... Even before he went to Douai, Blessed Thomas had already been forced into hiding and then out of the country for spreading dangerously Catholic notions. He studied at Douai for a while, but then finished his studies and was ordained at Reims. Not long after he got to Douai, HRH Elizabeth exploited French nationalist resentment of Spanish-occupiers by allying with them against the Spanish-sponsored Douai College. English assassins were trying to get at the College's founder, Dr. William Allen, while townsfolk were turning up the heat on the students and faculty. But Reims welcomed the school, Thomas was duly ordained, and he returned to England to preach until he got busted.
|Cardinal Doctor William Allen, also not a saint|
The second time they busted Blessed Thomas, they sent him to Newgate. They weren't trying as hard for the apostasy since it didn't take root the first time. Oddly, he was pardoned, but the pardon came just after his long drop on a short rope.
Here's a quick thought to close on. Dr. William Allen moved to Douai and founded a college to train martyrs. That's a little callous, but it is what he was doing. When Douai got hot, he retreated to Reims. He also founded a sister school in Rome for the same purpose and wrote lots of pamphlets extolling the cause of Faith. Eventually, he made cardinal while folks like Thomas got hot iron and stout rope. I guess that's why Thomas is Blessed and William is just cardinal.