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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2 thoughts on “April 8 – A cat dressed as a priest and the Second Martin”
  1. As an animal lover I find this a dreadful thing to do to an innocent cat, utterly ridiculous archaic and primitive, but then this was the 16th c where women were looked on with suspicion if they were over the age of fifty and had a wart on the end of their nose, and where the ill were treated with the most noxious remedies the human mind could concoct, the poor cat hopefully must have been dead because as Claire says it’s very very difficult trying to dress a cat or try to make it do anything it does not wish to do, I only hope it’s end was merciful, at Queen Elizabeth’s execution several live cats were burnt whilst busked together in a net or cafe, an awful ending and I believe this was to do with Catholicism as well? Poor poor creatures !

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