April 8 – A cat dressed as a priest and the Second Martin

On this day in history, 8th April 1554, there was an act of religious defiance in London.

Someone who didn’t like Queen Mary I’s religious changes hanged a cat on the gallows at Cheapside. The cat was dressed as a Catholic priest and was holding a piece of paper to represent that communion wafer. It is unclear whether the cat was dead or alive when it was hanged, although, from my own experience with cats, I’m not sure you could dress up a live cat like that!

Find out more about what happened, the meaning behind it, and Queen Mary I’s reaction to it…

Also on this day in history, 8th April 1586, leading Lutheran theologian Martin Chemnitz died in Braunschweig in Germany, at the age of 66. He became known as the Second Martin, with the more famous reformer and theologian Martin Luther being the first, but what did Chemnitz actually do? What was his role in the Reformation?

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