“In 1576, he was sent to the English College at Douai, boarding there but studying at the Jesuit College of Anchin, a French college associated, like the English College, with the University of Douai. He studied briefly under Leonard Lessius.
“At the end of the summer, however, his education was interrupted by the movement of French and Spanish forces. For greater safety Southwell was sent to Paris and studied at the College de Clermont under the tutelage of the Jesuit Thomas Darbyshire.
“He returned to Douai on 15 June 1577.”
The desire to enter the Society of Jesus was thwarted.
“He bemoans the situation, writing, ‘How can I but wast in anguish and agony that find myself disjoined from that company, severed from that Society, disunited from that body wherein lyeth all my life my love my whole hart and affection’” (Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu, Anglia 14, fol. 80, under date 1578).
He got in, was ordained, and returned to England in secret. In 1592, he was arrested while saying Mass and sent to prison. For the three-hour journey to Tyburn, he was tied to a hurdle and dragged through the streets to the gallows.