Alban

Alban St., protomartyr of England, is said to have served seven years with Diocletian, after which, returning to his country, he took up his abode at Verulamium, in Hertfordshire, his birth-place. Shortly after this the persecution of Diocletian broke out, which drove Amphibalus, who had been the companion of Alban, on his journey to Rome, and his fellow- soldier, to Britain for safety, where he at once betook himself to Verulamium. When the persecution of the Christians commenced in Britain, the name of Amphibalus was brought before the prefect, Asclepiodotus, as that of a man guilty of following the new religion; but, when he could not be found, Alban voluntarily presented himself to the judge, and was put to the torment and imprisoned. Shortly after, both he and his friend, who had been discovered, were condemned to die as being Christians: Alban was put to death by the sword on a small hill in the neighborhood, called afterward by the Saxons Holmehurst, and where his body was also buried. When tranquillity had been restored to the Church, great honors were paid to the tomb of Alban, and a chapel was erected over it, which Bede says was of admirable workmanship. About 795, Offa, king of the Mercians, founded here a spacious monastery in honor of St. Alban, and soon after the town called St. Alban arose in its neighborhood. Pope Adrian IV, who was born in this neighborhood, directed that the abbot of St. Alban's should hold the first place among the abbots of England. He is commemorated by the Roman Church on June 22d. — Gough's Camden's Britannia, 1, 336; Tanner, Biblioth. Brit. p. 18; Collier, Eccl. Hist. 1, 48; Landon. s.v.

 
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