He was English, of noble stock, and lived the majority of his life in England. Information about his life is scant; it isn't known when he was born, though, he was still alive in 1292 (when John Peckham, Archbishop of Canterbury died).
By 1245, he was already ordained, a Master of Arts and appointed to the Living of Pilham by the Duke of Cornwall. A little later, he is first recorded at the University of Paris, where in 1256 he became the Vice-Chancellor of Faculty of Arts. Matthew Paris records that John de Secheville was important within the University, and well-respected as an eminent philosopher and scientist.