Priest died protecting the seal of confession

Book made from priest’s skin now up for auction


A seventeenth-century book which is bound in human skin and details the execution of a priest who allegedly conspired in the Gunpowder plot will go up for auction on Sunday, the Telegraph reports.

The book is believed to have been bound in Fr. Henry Garnet's own skin.  Adding to the morbid aura of the item, some claim to see an image of the priest's tortured face on the book's cover.

The full title of the book is 'A True and Perfect Relation of the Whole Proceedings against the Late Most Barbarous Traitors, Garnet a Jesuit and his Confederats[sic].'  It will go up for bidding at an auction house in South Yorkshire.

It is unknown how much it could sell for.  Sid Wilkinson, the auctioneer, said: "Because the subject matter is so strange, we thought putting an estimate on it might be a bit vulgar."

Father Henry Garnet was found guilty of treason for his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot, in which Catholic rebels attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament while King James I and the Protestant leadership of the country were inside. 

The priest claimed he was not involved in the plot, but did say he had heard details of the plot during confessions.  He claimed he tried to dissuade the plotters from their scheme.

The priest was executed in 1606.  According to legend, a piece of bloodstained straw at the scene of his execution developed an exact image of the priest's face.  The auctioneers suggest the same has happened to the book.

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