Blessed William Pike
West Moors is blessed to have one of the English Martyrs as part of our spiritual heritage: Blessed William Pike. Due to his being converted by the priest at Chideock he is counted as one of the 8 Chideock Martyrs and his feast day is 4th July, along with Bl. John Cornelius and the other Chideock martyrs
"Bl. William Pyke: A layman and joiner or wheelwright by trade, married and with a family. He lived in or near West Moors in Dorset and was converted by Bl. Thomas Pilchard. Pyke was somewhat outspoken: he was arrested because of his rather indiscrete and public comments in defence of the Catholic faith. He was interrogated in the prison at Dorchester and finally executed on 22 Dec 1591." (extract from 'Historical Details for the use of Parish Guides', on the Dorchester parish website)
The Catholic Encyclopaedia writes of him:
"Bl. William Pike. Martyr, born in Dorsetshire; died at Dorchester, dec., 1591. He was a joiner, and lived at West Moors, West Parley. On his way from Dorchester to his home, he fell in with the venerable martyr Thomas Pilchard, who converted him, probably in 1586. At his trial for being reconciled with the See of Rome 'the bloody question about the Pope's supremacy was put to him, and he frankly confessed that he maintained the authority of the Roman See, for which he was condemned to die a traitor's death'. When they asked him to recant in order to save his life and his family, 'he boldly replied that it did not become a son of Mr. Pilchard to do so'. 'Until he died, Mr. Pilchard's name was constantly on his lips.' Being asked at death what had moved him to that resolution etc., he said 'Nothing but the smell of a pilchard'. The date of his death is not recorded, but in the Menology his name is under 22 Dec.
Pollen, Acts of the English Martyrs (London, 1901), 267; English Martyrs 1584-1603 (London, 1908), 289; Challoner, Missionary Priests, I, no. 89; Stanton, Menology of England and Wales (London, 1887), 606, 689.John B. Wainwright."
"Blessed William Pike (died 22 December 1591) was an English Roman Catholic martyr who was beatified in 1987.
Several sources state that William was born in Dorset. In 'A History of Dorset' A. Lindsay Clegg, former Town Clerk of Bournemouth, claims that Pike lived at Moordown, now within modern Bournemouth, then part of the Liberty of Westover. Pike, or Pyk was a common name in Westover since the 14th century, according to the Christchurch Cartulary. Pike is also said to have lived at West Moors in West Parley, where he worked as a carpenter. He was executed by being hung, drawn and quartered on 22 December 1591 for denying the Royal Supremacy. He is thought to have been converted to Catholicism by Thomas Pilchard."
He is one of the 8 Chideock Martyrs, and the Chideock parish website says of him and Bl. Thomas Pilchard:
"William Pike. A carpenter in Chideock. Was put to death in Dorchester and beatified, together with Jessop, in 1987.
"Father Thomas Pilchard. Was a Jesuit and despite being banished, in 1586 he returned to England and became Chaplain at Chideock Castle where he was concealed. While he was there, he made many converts."