Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pickering, John

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PICKERING, JOHN (d. 1537), leader in the pilgrimage of grace, was a Dominican, who proceeded B.D. at Cambridge in 1525. At that date he was prior of the Dominican house at Cambridge, but he was subsequently appointed prior of the Dominicans at York or Bridlington. He took part in organising the rebellion known as the pilgrimage of grace in 1536, and, after the failure of Sir Francis Bigod's insurrection, Henry VIII wrote that Dr. Pickering should be sent up to him. He had composed a song beginning ‘O faithful people of the Boreal Region,’ which seems, in spite of its first line, to have been very popular. It is often mentioned in the depositions. He was condemned and hanged at Tyburn on 25 May 1537.

Another contemporary Dr. Pickering was a priest and parson of Lythe, Yorkshire, whose father lived at Skelton; he also was suspected of complicity in the northern rebellion, and was sent to London, and confined in the Marshalsea in 1537. He probably gave information as to others, as he was pardoned 21 June 1537. A third John Pickering was a bachelor of decrees at Oxford, and became prebendary of Newington, 6 Jan. 1504–5.

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 62; Letters and Papers Hen. VIII, i. 1549, &c., XII. i. 479, 698, 786, 1019, 1021, 1199, ii. 12, 191; Froude's Hist. of Engl. vol. ix.; Le Neve's Fasti, ii. 418; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 715.]

W. A. J. A.