Born in London, William Carter entered the printing business at an early age. For many years
he served as apprentice to well-known Catholic printers, one of whom served a prison sentence for
persisting in the Catholic faith. William himself served time in prison following his arrest for
"printing lewd [i.e., Catholic] pamphlets" as well as possessing books upholding
But even more, he offended public officials by publishing works that aimed to keep Catholics
firm in their faith. Officials who searched his house found various vestments and suspect books, and
even managed to extract information from William's distraught wife. Over the next 18 months William
remained in prison, suffering torture and learning of his wife's death.
He was eventually charged
with printing and publishing the Treatise of Schisme, which allegedly incited violence by Catholics
and which was said to have been written by a traitor and addressed to traitors. While William calmly
placed his trust in God, the jury met for only 15 minutes before reaching a verdict of "guilty."
William, who made his final confession to a priest who was being tried alongside him, was hanged,
drawn and quartered the following day: January 11, 1584.
He was beatified in 1987.