4 July 1533 – The burning of John Frith

| July 4, 2016

4 July 1533 – The burning of John Frith

On this day in history, 4th July 1533, John Frith, reformer, theologian and martyr, was burnt at the stake at Smithfield for heresy. Frith was charged with heresy because of his religious views, which included his belief that Christ’s words about the sacrament, “This is my body”, were not to be taken literally, and his […]

19 June 1535 – 3 Carthusian monks martyred

| June 19, 2016

19 June 1535 – 3 Carthusian monks martyred

On 19 June 1535, three monks, Sebastian Newdigate, William Exmew and Humphrey Middlemore, of the Carthusian Order of London Charterhouse, were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Their executions were witnessed by George Boleyn and Thomas Boleyn, Queen Anne Boleyn’s brother and father; Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk; Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset, […]

18 June 1546 – Anne Askew found guilty of heresy

| June 18, 2016

18 June 1546 – Anne Askew found guilty of heresy

On this day in history, 18th June 1546, Anne Askew, estranged wife of Thomas Kyme, was found guilty of heresy at London’s Guildhall along with Nicholas Shaxton (former Bishop of Salisbury), Nicholas White and John Hadlam. All four of them were condemned to be burnt, but Shaxton and White were saved by recanting their heretical […]

20 April 1534 – Hangings and a call to swear the oath

| April 20, 2016

20 April 1534 – Hangings and a call to swear the oath

On 20th April 1534, prominent citizens of London were required to swear the “Oath of the Act of Succession”. Chronicler and Windsor Herald Charles Wriothesley recorded: “all the craftes in London were called to their halls, and there were sworne on a booke to be true to Queene Anne and to beleeve and take her […]

17 April 1534 – To the Tower for Sir Thomas More

| April 17, 2016

17 April 1534 – To the Tower for Sir Thomas More

On 17th April 1534, Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, was sent to the Tower of London. He had been summoned to Lambeth on 13th April 1534 to swear his allegiance to the “Act of Succession” but had refused to do so and “thereupon was he delivered to the abbot of Westminster to be […]

Me and Thomas Cranmer

| March 21, 2016

Me and Thomas Cranmer

If you have been following this website for a while, you will have gathered that I am a practising Christian. My faith is real and true, but it’s far from perfect. I doubt, I question, I rant and I rave, and I often wonder when I’m writing about martyrs of the 16th century what I […]

15 January 1535 – Henry VIII declared himself head of the Church in England

| January 15, 2016

15 January 1535 – Henry VIII declared himself head of the Church in England

On this day in history, 15th January 1535, King Henry VIII proclaimed that he was now Supreme Head of the Church of England. Here is the record from Letters and Papers: “Memorandum that the King in his privy chamber, 15 January 26 Hen. VIII., in presence of Sir Thos. Audley, lord Chancellor, Thos. duke of […]

16 October 1555 – The Martyrdom of Bishops Latimer and Ridley

| October 16, 2015

16 October 1555 – The Martyrdom of Bishops Latimer and Ridley

On this day in history, 16th October 1555, during the reign of Mary I, Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, and Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, were burnt at the stake for heresy in Oxford. Ridley and Latimer, along with Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, who was burnt at the stake on 21st March 1556, are known as […]