22 December – Two Protestants betrayed by a spy and Bishop Fisher begs for a shirt

Posted By on December 22, 2021

On this day in Tudor history, 22nd December 1557, Protestant martyrs John Rough and Margaret Mearing, were burnt at Smithfield for heresy.

John Rough was a Scot who’d encouraged John Knox to be a pastor, but ended in days in England. Interestingly, the woman he died with was a woman he’d excommunicated from his congregation, believing her to be a spy. Although she’d been angry with her treatment, she was not the spy who betrayed him, she visited Rough in prison and was arrested after she tried to confront the real spy.

Find out about John Rough’s life and what brought him to England, how he’d come to be arrested, and what happened with Margaret Mearing, in this talk…

Also on this day in Tudor history, 22nd December 1534, John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, who was a prisoner in the Tower of London, wrote to Thomas Cromwell.

In his letter to Cromwell, the poor bishop begged him for a shirt, sheet, food and books, as well as asking him to intercede with King Henry VIII on his behalf. It is so sad that a man who had served the king so loyally in the past had come to this, and, of course, the king’s mercy would only stretch to commuting his method of execution to beheading.

Find out more in this video…

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