Father Richard Strange SJ was born in 1611 and entered the Jesuits in 1631. It may be of interest to append a few characteristic anecdotes of the Saint, drawn from the evidence of 'witnesses who knew him well. As to his outward appearance, Brother Robert, the sacristan at St. Bartholomew's, London, describes him as ' having an angelic face, a complexion white and ruddy, a good beard and a long nose, with flaxen hair.' Hugh the Barber tells the Papal Commissaries, not without a certain pride, that his master' was no hypocrite or humbug , trying to make himself out better than other people; that in dress and other things he was not different from his equals; that when at the Universities he wore indoors a mantle and a cassock like what Prelates wear (for he was Archdeacon of Stafford). Out of doors he had furred garments and a furred coverlet to his bed' After the Saint's death, William Gandro, his body-servant, and the heir to his wardrobe, says that so anxious were the Saint's relatives to get keepsakes of him, that he had to tear to pieces both cassock and tunic, but the mantle and hood he kept for himself, though a Welsh rector offered twenty pounds for it. A story is told of the Saint's hair-shirt, which he inherited from his uncle, the Bishop of Worcester. The Saint did not find it hard enough or knotty enough for him, so he sent it to Oxford to have it roughened and hardened. This he wore to the day of his death, and Robert of Gloucester, the witness, says it was the hardest that could be found. The same witness says that once he ventured to expostulate with the Saint on his excessive abstinence, saying, ' You eat and drink too little, my lord; you wont be able to last out. Getting no answer he repeated the remark, when the Bishop said, 'Eat and drink what you like, and hold your tongue and leave me in peace.' Robert rejoined, ' My lord, I will not do so, because I don't want you to die, for I should lose the promotion I am hoping for from you.' St. Thomas answered, 'You want to flatter me.' But it would seem that he did get his promotion, for he became the Bishop's official, and was in some sense the occasion of his master's death and his own excommunication.
Richard Strange, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1492756636, ISBN 13: 9781492756637