St John Plessington

St John Plessington was another who lost his life as a result of the anti-Catholic hysteria caused by the malicious conspiracy spread by former Valladolid student Titus Oates.

Born at Dimpless Hall, in Lancashire, John was sent to a private school directed by Jesuit priests in Scarisbrick Hall, later adopting the alias of Scarisbrick when entering the Royal English College in November 1660.

He received his minor orders and diaconate in the Church of MarĂ­a Magdalena in Valladolid before being ordained a priest in March 1662. Returning to England, he was housed with the Massey family in Puddington Hall, while carrying out missionary work around Holywell and Chester.

Father Plessington was in Chester when he was accused, during the so-called "Oates Conspiracy", of being a priest. After nine weeks in prison, he was stripped, drawn, hung and quartered near Chester on July 19 1679.

According to a local tradition, his dismembered body was sent to Puddington Hall to be exhibited in the four corners of the house but was instead laid on an oak table in the entrance to the house before being buried in the cemetery of Burton.

He was solemnly canonised by the Pope Paul VI on October 25 1970.