On the night before his death, Peter wrote a letter to his brother saying, “if some news does not come in the next few hours all is over. The priest is not long gone out, so I am reconciled to what God thinks best. There will be a Mass said for each of us that morning before we go to our death. Thank God, I have nothing to be afraid of. I am an innocent man and as I have said before, it will be known yet that I am. The only thing that worries me now is the thought of my poor father and mother, but I know God will comfort them. I will write my last few lines to mother tomorrow (Tuesday). I will know more by then… Say a prayer for me. God be with you.”
On the same night, James wrote to his sister in Mullingar (both his parents were dead). “This is my farewell letter, as I have been just told that I have to die in the morning. I knew that I would have to die, so the news did not come as a great shock to me, but thank God that I am prepared, as I know I am dying for a just cause. I shall walk out tomorrow morning smiling, as I shall be thinking of God and of the good men who went before me for the same cause.”
On Ash Wednesday, the morning of their execution, Mass was said in both of the prisoners’ cells. Fr Collins and Fr Farrell began the first Mass at 7:30am and the second at 8am; both men had been to confession earlier and then received Holy Communion during the Mass.
At 8:50am the two men received the last blessing, the Apostolic Benediction, which is given to people at the hour of death. Minutes later, they walked together to the scaffold, where they were hung by four executioners. Later that day, their bodies were buried inside the prison and plain crosses, marked only with their initials, were placed over their graves.
Peter Barnes was aged 32 years of age and James McCormick was only 29.
Their bodies were eventually brought home and reinterred in Mullingar in 1969.
if anyone feels that this is inaccurate in any way let me know as the first discription was scourced from a historic coventry site
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