4 December – Murder made to look like suicide and the beginning of the end for Thomas Cranmer

On this day in Tudor history, 4th December 1514, merchant tailor and leading member of the Lollard community in London, Richard Hunne died while imprisoned in the Lollard’s Tower at St Paul’s.

Hunne, who had been arrested for heresy in October 1514, was discovered hanging from the ceiling of his cell. The Bishop of London and his chancellor claimed that Hunne had used his own silk girdle to commit suicide, but a coroner’s inquest ruled that the hanging was faked and that Hunne was murdered.

But why was Richard Hunne murdered? And why had this merchant tailor been arrested in the first place? Was it just for heresy, or was there more to it?

Find out all about Hunne, his arrest, the charges against him, his death and what happened next, in this talk…

Also on this day in Tudor history, 4th December 1555, in Rome, papal sentence was passed on Thomas Cranmer, resulting in him being deprived of his archbishopric.

Permission was also granted for his fate to be decided by the secular authorities.

Thomas Cranmer went on to recant his Protestant faith on several occasions but was still executed by being burned at the stake.

Why? Find out in this video…

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One thought on “4 December – Murder made to look like suicide and the beginning of the end for Thomas Cranmer”
  1. Richard Hunne was certainly a trouble maker and his arrest seems more to do with revenge for his refusal to pay his burial tax, the baptism robe of his dead baby. It was bad enough that this man and his family had lost their beautiful baby boy but to hand over his baptism robe was horrendous. Didn’t anyone think that he was just sick with grief as a father? He might have been a Lollard but it appears to me that that was a known fact. The Rector was upset because his initial case was thrown out and he was angry. Hunne was arrested and denounced as a heretic and heretical material was found in his home. However, while in prison, he was murdered and it was made to look like a suicide.

    But why? The Bishop could simply try and burn him for heresy. A number of motives might have been behind his killing but as the video said, such an individual was more of a general nuisance than he was a heretic. He could cause a new scandal and was a direct threat to the clergy. He had to be stopped. His murder remained a mystery.

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