Nicholas Postgate was born in 1599 at Egton Bridge, 8 miles up the River Esk from Whitby. During his long life, his particular form of Christianity was outlawed and he and many others had to worship in secret. In 1621 he went to France to train as a priest and returned, fully ordained in 1630.
For the next 30 years he travelled across most of Yorkshire to preach, from Bradford to Hull and Richmond, before returning to live at Ugthorpe near Whitby for the next 20 years. He still preached all over the North York Moors and his bravery was unquestioned, as he moved around the area hiding from the law and yet holding well attended Christian services in secret places throughout the dales.
In 1679 he was caught and taken to the City of York for trial. Found guilty he was hung, drawn and quartered, aged 82 and one of the last martyrs in England to be executed for ‘treason’ against the state religion.
In Egton Bridge today there is a pub called the ‘Father Postgate’ in memory of his birthplace and of his extraordinary life and death.