He was admitted to the English College, Reims, 1 May, 1584, he was ordained priest September, 1587, and left for the English mission 17 January, 1588-9.
On the third Sunday of Advent, 1591, he said Mass in the house of Lawrence Mompesson at Clerkenwell, and while dining with another priest, James Young, the priest-catchers surprised them. Young found a hiding-place, but Patenson was arrested and condemned at the Old Bailey after Christmas. According to Young, while in prison he converted and reconciled three or four thieves before their death. According to Richard Verstegan, he converted, the night before his martyrdom, six out of seven felons, who occupied the condemned cell with him. On this account he was cut down while still conscious.
- John Hungerford Pollen, Acts of the English Martyrs (London, 1891), 115-7;
- English Martyrs 1584-1603 (London, 1908), 208, 292;
- Richard Challoner, Missionary Priests, I, no. 94;
- Thomas Francis Knox, Douay Diaries (London, 1878), 201, 217, 222.