was born in Leyland, Lancashire
, in England
. His parents, Thomas and Dorothy Woodcock, the latter a Catholic
, were of the middle class. Woodcock converted to Catholicism about 1622, and after studying at Saint-Omer
for a year was admitted to the English College
, on 20 October 1629.
On 16 May 1630, he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin
, but soon afterwards transferred himself to the English Franciscans
. He received the habit from Henry Heath
in 1631 and was professed by Arthur Bell
a year later. For some years he lived at Arras
as chaplain to a Mr. Sheldon.
Late in 1643 he landed at Newcastle-on-Tyne
, and was arrested on the first night he spent in Lancashire
. After two years' imprisonment in Lancaster Castle
, he was condemned on 6 August 1646, on his own confession, for being a priest, together with two others, Edward Bamber
and Thomas Whittaker
On 7 August 1646, in an attempted execution, he was flung off a ladder, but the rope broke. He was then hanged a second time, was cut down and disemboweled alive. The Franciscan
Sisters at Taunton
possess an arm-bone of the martyr.
John Woodcock was among the eighty-five martyrs of England and Wales beatified
by Pope John Paul II
on 22 November 1987. Read More