St. John Kemble
August 22, Saint


Son of John and Anne Kemble. Studied at Douai, France. Ordained on 23 February 1625 at Douai College. Returned to England on 4 June 1625 as a missioner in Monmouthshire and Herefordshire. He tended to his covert flock for 53 years.

Arrested at Pembridge Castle, the home of a family member, in 1678, and lodged in Hereford Gaol. Falsely accused of being part of the Titus Oates Plot. Condemned in March 1679 for the treason of Catholic priesthood. Martryed at age 80. One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Before leaving for his execution, John sat for a while with the under-sheriff, having a final drink and smoking a final pipe. This led to the Herefordshire expression “Kemble cup” and “Kemble pipe”, meaning one taken before a parting.

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