John Duckett

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John Duckett
Born1613[1], Sedbergh, Yorkshire, England
Died7 September 1644, Tyburn, Middlesex, England
Means of martyrdomhanged, drawn and quartered
Venerated inCatholic Church
Beatified15 December 1929, by Pope Pius XI

John Duckett (1613 – 7 September 1644) was an English Catholic priest and martyr.


John Duckett was born at Underwinder, in the parish of Sedbergh, in Yorkshire, in 1603, the son of James and Francis Duckett. He was a relative, possibly grandson of James Duckett who had been executed at Tyburn on 19 April 1601 for printing Catholic books.

He was baptized on 24 February 1614 and educated at Sedbergh School. At the age of seventeen, he entered the English College, Douai; he was ordained a priest by the Archbishop of Cambrai in 1639 and was then sent to study for three years at the College of Arras in Paris.[2]

He is said to have had an extraordinary gift of prayer, and as a student would spend whole nights in contemplation. After Paris it came time to embark on the English mission, but on his way he spent two months in retreat under the direction of his uncle, John Duckett, prior of the Charterhouse at Nieupoort.

He arrived at Newcastle upon Tyne around Christmas 1643, Duckett worked largely in the North and laboured for about a year in Durham. It was in the time of the Civil War and he was arrested by Roundhead soldiers only a few months later, on 2 July 1644, at Redgate Head, Wolsingham, County Durham, while on his way to baptize two children. Taken to Sunderland, he was examined by a Parliamentary Committee of sequestrators and placed in irons. He admitted he was a priest and so was taken to London with the Jesuit Ralph Corby, arrested about the same time near Newcastle-on-Tyne. They were both confined in Newgate, where they were the cause of crowds of Catholics gathering. On these and on others who encountered them they made an impression by their cheerfulness and sanctity.[2] He was brought to trial on 4 September and given the inevitable sentence of hanging, drawing and quartering. Corby was offered a reprieve, but deferred in favor of the younger Duckett, who refused to walk away and leave his friend. Both were executed at Tyburn in London on 7 September 1644.[3]

Both priests were declared Blessed by Pope Pius XI on 15 December 1929.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Blessed John Who?", Blessed John Duckett RC Primary
  2. ^ a b Camm, Bede. "Venerable John Duckett." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 23 April 2020 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ "St John Duckett", Independent Catholic News


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ven. John Duckett". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  • Godfrey Anstruther, Seminary Priests, Mayhew-McCrimmond, Great Wakering, vol. 2, 1975, pp. 90, 232.