St John Plessington Catholic College

Our School Patron Saint


“By his faithfulness to the point of death, St John Plessington stands out as the great witness to the priestly life and mission in Shrewsbury Diocese,” 

John Plessington (c. 1637 – 19 July 1679), also known as John Plesington, William Scarisbrick and William Pleasington, was an English Catholic priest who was executed by the English Crown for violating the ban on the presence of Catholic priests in the kingdom. He is now honored as one of the Roman Catholic Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

His Life

He was born at Dimples Hall, Garstang, Lancashire, the son of Robert Plessington, a Royalist Roman Catholic, and Alice Rawstone, a family thus persecuted for both their religious and political beliefs. 

He was educated by the Jesuits at Scarisbrick Hall, then at the Royal College of Saint Alban at Valladolid, Spain, and then at Saint Omer Seminary in France. He was ordained in Segovia, Spain, on 25 March 1662. 

He returned to England in 1663 ministering to covert Catholics in the areas of Holywell and Cheshire, often hiding under the name John Scarisbrick. He was also tutor at Puddington Old Hall near Chester. 

Upon arrest in Chester during the Popish Plot scare caused by Titus Oates, he was imprisoned for two months, and then hanged, drawn and quartered for the crime of being a Catholic priest. 

Plessington was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI, and canonized and made one of the Forty Martyrs on 25 October 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

Feast Day of St John Plessington - 19th July