Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Blessed George Errington

George Errington was born in the Hirst area of what is now Ashington, Northumberland around 1553. His family was originally from the Stagshaw area of Hexham. He studied at Trinity College, Oxford. He was a close associate of St. John Boste who ran an underground movement with its headquarters in the home of Ursula Taylor of South Shields. This movement aimed to smuggle candidates for the priesthood abroad and, once trained, to return them as priests.

George was first arrested on Tyneside in 1585 and taken to the Tower of London. He was accused of taking a young candidate for the priesthood to Newcastle Quayside where a French ship was waiting.

George refused to conform to the Church of England, professing his Catholic faith. He was released on bail in February, 1586. He was arrested again in May, 1591 and escaped from York Castle in December 1591.

George was arrested a third time at the end of the 1593. He and two others were betrayed by a Protestant clergyman, imprisoned with them, who stated that he wished to become a Catholic. A priest was contacted for him. The clergyman then reported George, William King and William Gibson to the authorities. They were convicted of “persuading to Popery”.

Every effort was made to get George and the others to renounce their faith, unsuccessfully. They were martyred by being hung, drawn and quartered at York on 29th November, 1596.

Credits: D. Shearer (text) and M. White (image)