Peter Snow (priest)

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Peter Snow (executed at York, 15 June 1598) was an English Roman Catholic priest. He is a Catholic martyr, along with Ralph Grimston who died with him, beatified in 1987. Their liturgical celebration is on 15 June.


He was born at or near Ripon and arrived at the English College, Reims, 17 April 1589. He received the first tonsure and minor orders 18 August 1590, the subdiaconate at Laon on 22 September, and the diaconate and priesthood at Soissons on 30 and 31 March 1591.

He left for England on the following 15 May. He was arrested about 1 May 1598, when on his way to York with Ralph Grimston of Nidd. Both were shortly after condemned, Snow of treason as being a priest and Grimston of felony, for having aided and assisted him, and, it is said, having attempted to prevent his apprehension.

Relics in Leeds Cathedral[edit]

In 1845, two skulls were discovered under the stone floor of the ancient chapel of Hazlewood Castle, near Tadcaster. At the time they were thought to be relics of two other English martyrs, John Lockwood and Edmund Catherick and the skulls were placed in a niche near the altar. In 1909, it was stated that they were the relics of Peter Snow and Ralph Grimston. This identification was accepted.[by whom?]

In 2005, Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds, decided to place relics in Leeds Cathedral altar. He ordered reconstruction of their faces using the latest techniques from the University of Dundee.[1] The reconstructed face pictures of Blessed Fr.Peter Snow and Ralph Grimston can be found on Leeds Cathedral webpage.[2] The story of reconstraction was covered in BBC's Inside Out. In 2008, Fr Robert Barron released video comments on A Tale of Two Skulls Video on YouTube.


  1. ^ "Skull reconstruction of men hanged in York for being Catholic". York Press. 4 November 2006. 
  2. ^ "Relics in Cathedral". Leeds Cathedtal. 2006. 

External links[edit]