18 December – The death of Nicholas Harpsfield, former Archdeacon of Canterbury, and Heretic John Philpott’s sad end


On this day in Tudor history, 18th December 1575, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, fifty-six-year-old historian, Catholic apologist, priest and former Archdeacon of Canterbury, Nicholas Harpsfield, died in London.

Harpsfield and his brother, John, had been imprisoned since the early 1560s for refusing to swear the Oath of Supremacy, but had been released in 1574 on the grounds of ill-health.

In Mary I’s reign, he had been involved in the persecutions of Protestants, and martyrologist John Foxe described him as “the sorest and of leaste compassion” of all the archdeacons involved.

Find out more about his life, career and rise, his works, and his end, in this talk…

On this day in Tudor history, 18th December 1555, John Philpott, former Archdeacon of Winchester, was burned at the stake for heresy at Smithfield.

Philpott had done a lot in his 40 years, including studying in Italy, upsetting Bishop Gardiner, and supporting fellow Protestants from his prison cell, and he died a courageous death at Smithfield in the reign of Queen Mary I.

Find out more about him in this video…

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