Reminder: Year 6 parents Peat Rigg Information Meeting on Wednesday 18th September at 3:30
Header Image

Our Academy Patron: Blessed Nicholas Postgate

Image result for nicholas postgate story

Nicholas Postgate was a Catholic priest during a period of more than 200 years when the Catholic faith was illegal in England. To practice as Catholic priest was classed as treason by an Elizabethan law.

The Nicholas Postgate story begins at Egton Bridge: a tiny village deep in the North York Moors beside the River Esk. He was born about 1599-1600 in Kirkdale House, which stood close to the new bridge which spans the Esk.

On July 4, 1621 he joined the English College at Douai, France, to train as a priest, in full knowledge of how dangerous this was at the time. All the Douai students used aliases (a different name) so that their families in England would not be punished and Postgate used the name Whitmore (probably based on Whitemoor, the opposite of the Blackamoor above his home). He later used his mother’s maiden name of Watson.

Some six years later, Nicholas passed his exams and on March 20, 1628, he was ordained priest.

Back in England, many people secretly remained Catholics and had hiding places called priest-holes built into their properties and made use of secret chapels. Many “employed” priests as gardeners, a useful disguise, and it is largely due to their actions that the Catholic faith survived in this country.

After a long journey home, finally, during the 1660s, Nicholas Postgate returned to his home patch in the North York Moors.

He was renowned for his humanity, his simple faith, his care of the poor and his holiness, becoming a friend of Catholic and Protestant alike, and for the next 20 years he walked the Moors and Eskdale, living in a humble home now called The Hermitage at Ugthorpe. It is said he planted the daffodils which flourish in the Esk Valley but throughout his work, he was at constant risk from the authorities.

Although anti-Catholic feeling had subsided a good deal, it flared up again due to the fake Popish Plot of 1678; this followed a false testimony from Titus Oates in which he claimed there was a conspiracy to install a Catholic king, and he managed to ferment a renewed and fierce persecution of English Catholics.

It was to be the last time that Catholics were put to death in England for their faith; one of the last victims – and not the very last – was Nicholas Postgate.

Father Postgate was to baptise the child of Matthew Lyth at Redbarns Farm, Ugglebarnby, near Whitby. The house was raided during the ceremony and the priest was caught, then aged 82. Between December 1678 and March 1679, he was locked in York Castle where he wrote a hymn, still sung at Egton Bridge and elsewhere.

On August 7, 1679, Father Postgate, a priest for 51 years, was strapped to a wooden sledge and dragged through the streets of York. In his final speech, Father Postgate said: “I die not for the plot, but for my faith,” and forgave those who had wronged him. His grave is unknown but the crucifix he wore at his death is now in Ampleforth Abbey.

Every year since 1974 an open-air service has been held – alternately in Egton Bridge and Ugthorpe – in honour of Fr Postgate.

He was beatified by Pope John Paul II  in November 1987.

Mary Brown


EYFS Mrs R McGuiness, KS1 Mrs A Teasdale, KS2 Mrs K Fox

School Contact

Mary Brown

St Edward's Primary

Eastbourne Road, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, TS5 6QS


E: [email protected]

T: 01642 819507

Privacy Policy

We regard your privacy as important and any personal information you give to us will be used in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulations.

We do not store personal information about individuals who visit this site except where they provide contact information via our contact us page and contact forms available on various pages throughout the website.

Any information you provide will only be used for the reasons specified and it will not be shared with any third party without your consent, unless required by law.

Your contact details are kept securely and are only accessed by authorised members of staff as part of the provision of school services. If you do not wish us to keep this contact information please tell us.

This website uses Google Analytics which provides statistical data about the usage of the site. This information is not used to identify individuals, but is collected to provide us with an understanding of the areas of interest on our site and how our site is being used.

If you are connected to the internet you will have an IP Address. This may take the form of a figure, such as 333.333.22.1. The address will be automatically collected and logged as part of the connection of your computer to our web server and may be used to determine the total number of visits to each part of the site. This data is not collected and used for other purposes.

This website contains links to other websites. The School is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites or organisations and recommends you consult the privacy information on those sites.

This policy will be reviewed and updated versions will be posted on the website.

If you have any questions about the use of your personal information, the Information Commissioner is the independent regulator for both Data Protection and Freedom of Information.