THE following play was written on the invitation of the late Dr. Wilkinson, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, for the occasion of the Centenary of St. Cuthbert's College, Ushaw; the music was composed by Mr. Sewell, now suborganist of Westminster Cathedral; and the whole was performed in the presence of the Archbishop of Westminster and many of the Bishops of England, in July 1908, by the students of Ushaw, under the management of the Rev. Father Bonney. The play itself, in all its essentials and most of its details, is in accordance with the facts of the Venerable John Bost's life and death; and in the Third Act, much of the dialogue is taken from a verbatim report of the trial. For the rest of the dialogue, care has been taken to follow, as far as possible, the spirit and temper of the time, as well as to represent as truly as possible the historical characters who appear upon the stage. The actual words of the death sentence have been modified. In the First Act, all the persons represented are, with the exception of the Porter, historical figures. In the Second Act all the characters are historical, as also in the Third Act, with the exception of the Clerk and the necessary supernumeranes. In the hunt for, and capture of, the martyr in the Second Act, care has been taken to follow accurately all the details, which have been minutely preserved. Apologies are due for the comparative incoherence of the plot, and the long periods that elapse between the Acts; but these defects are, unfortunately, a necessity of the case. As regards the costumes and scenic arrangements, these were made as much in accordance with historical accuracy as possible. Grateful acknowledgments are due to Father Goldie's admirable articles on the martyr, published in the Ushaw Magazine, without which the play could not have been written.
Robert Hugh Benson, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1533468389, ISBN 13: 9781533468383