12 September 1555 – The Beginning of the End for Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Posted By Claire on September 12, 2012
Today is the anniversary of the first day of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s trial at the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford. He was charged with repudiating papal authority and denying transubstantiation.
You can read the full details of the trial in my article 12 September 1555 – The Trial of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, but we all know how it ended – Cranmer was burned at the stake on 21st March 1556.
I don’t believe he had any chance at justice and I believe that his execution was Mary I’s revenge on the man who had annulled her parents’ marriage, who had supported Anne Boleyn and who she held responsible for the English Reformation.
Why do I believe that?
Well, because Cranmer recanted, repented and accepted the Catholic faith, and therefore his execution was unlawful. It just shouldn’t have happened.
See The Execution of Thomas Cranmer for more on that.
2 thoughts on “12 September 1555 – The Beginning of the End for Archbishop Thomas Cranmer”
If Mary had gone after Cranmer for treason for his support of Lady Jane Grey, there would have been nothing unlawful in executing him, despite his recantation on religious matters … and she would have had ample scope for her desire for revenge. Unfortunately (for her) Mary chose to go after him for heresy (where recantation was a defense).
This man admired Anne Boleyn so much and as you’ve said his execution was an injustice great as her own.