Saint John Jones

Blessed John Jones and Blessed John WallAlso known as

  • Godefride Moritius
  • Godefridus Mauritius
  • Godfrey Maurice
  • Godfrey Jones
  • Griffith Jones
  • Gryffith Jones
  • John Buckley
  • John Griffith
  • Robert Buckley
  • Robertus Jonus



Born to a strong Catholic Welsh family. Joined the Franciscans in Greenwich, England. When his monastery was dissolved in 1559, he travelled to France to study. Ordained at Rheims, France.

John returned to England to work with Catholic prisoners at Marshalsea Prison in London. He was arrested for being a priest and imprisoned at Wisbech Castle, but escaped to the Continent. He lived for a while at Pontoise, France, and then the Ara Coeli Franciscan Observant house at Rome, Italy, finally returning to England as a missioner 1592. He worked in several places in the country, and was elected Franciscan provincial of England.

Arrested and tortured by the priest-catcher Topcliffe in 1596. Imprisoned for two years, doing time with Blessed John Rigby. Convicted on 3 July 1598 for the treason of being a Catholic priest.

His execution took place early in the morning to reduce the chance of a mob; the executioner, roused out of bed for the job, forgot his ropes. During the delay while he went for them, John preached to the crowd that had gathered, and explained he was being murdered for his faith, not any disloyalty to his country. One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.







The hangman had forgotten to bring a rope with him, so the martyr was kept a whole hour waiting in the cart under the gallows; his time was occupied in answering various questions, and preaching to the people, amid interruptions of all kinds. At last a horseman was heard galloping towards the place, and the excitement became intense when a voice cried out, “A reprieve, a reprieve!” When the man had galloped up, he was asked by a hundred anxious mouths whether it was so. “Ay, ay,” he answered, dangling the halter in the sight of the crowd, “here it is.” When the time came to draw away the cart, the hangman whipped the horses; but they were held back by three or four stalwart fellows till the martyr had finished what he was saying. At last the cart was withdrawn, and the martyr rendered his soul to God. – an account of the execution of John Jones which appeared in the magazine, The Rambler, January 1859

MLA Citation

  • “Saint John Jones“. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 February 2020. Web. 3 April 2020. <>