On this day in Tudor history, 4th August 1540, in the reign of King Henry VIII, thirteen men were executed in London. Twelve of them suffered a full traitor’s death, being hanged, drawn and quartered, and one was hanged.
Find out who these men were and why they were attainted by Parliament and put to death…
This day in Tudor history, 4th August 1540, was a rather busy day for the executioner. If I’ve added them up correctly, 13 men were executed on that day.
Chronicler and Windsor Herald Charles Wriothesley records:
“This year, the fourth day of August, were drawn from the Tower of London to Tyburn, Giles Heron, gentleman; Clement Philpott, gentleman, late of Calais, and servant to the Lord Lisle; Darbie Jenning; Edmond Bryndholme, priest; William Horn, late a lay brother of the Charter House of London, and another, with six persons more, were there hanged, drawn, and quartered, and one Charles Carew, gentleman, was that day hanged for robbing of my Lady Carew, all which persons were attainted by the whole Parliament for treason.”
So, Heron, Philpott, Jenning, Brindholme, Horn and another, 6 persons more, and Charles Carew – 13! Phew!
So, let’s have a look at who these people were and why they had their lives ended in this way.
Well, Brother William Horne was a laybrother of the London Charterhouse, and he was the last of the Carthusian Martyrs to be killed. The French ambassador, Marillac, writes of how Horne refused to relinquish his habit at his execution. Between May 1535 and August 1540, eighteen members of the Carthusian order were put to death for refusing to accept King Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church in England. Some of them were hanged, drawn and quartered, some were hanged in chains, and others were starved to death – just awful. All of them have been recognised as martyrs by the Catholic Church. I’ll give you links to my other videos on these men so you can find out more.
The Giles Heron, gentleman, who was also hanged, drawn and quartered, had been a ward of the late Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s fomer Lord Chancellor who had been executed for treason in 1535. Heron had married More’s daughter Cecily. He had served King Henry VIII as an Esquire of the body and had been a member of Parliament for Thetford. In 1536, Heron served as foreman of the Grand Jury of Middlesex which drew up the indictments against Queen Anne Boleyn and the five men accused with her. It appears that Heron’s downfall was due to a dispute with his tenant, a man named Lyons who Heron had evicted from his farm. Lyons took revenge by telling Thomas Cromwell that Heron was a traitor. Heron was attainted in May 1540 and condemned to death.
Clement Philpott, who Wriothesley describes as “gentleman, late of Calais, and servant to the Lord Lisle”, was indeed a servant of Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle and Deputy of Calais. Philpott’s master, Lord Lisle had opposed Thomas Cromwell in 1540, and had been arrested in May 1540, accused of treasonable communications with Cardinal Reginald Pole. Lisle was imprisoned in the Tower and remained there until his death on 3rd March 1542 when he suffered a heart attack after hearing the news that he was going to be released. Philpott was also accused of being involved with Cardinal Pole, but, unlike his master, ended up suffering a full traitor’s death.
Edmund Brindholme who Wriothesley describes as a priest, was also linked to Lord Lisle, having served him as chaplain. Like Philpott, he was accused of being involved with Cardinal Pole.
I’m not sure who “Darbie Genning” was but perhaps he was also one of Lord Lisle’s servants.
Charles Carew, the man described as “ gentleman” who was “hanged for robbing of my Lady Carew”, was the illegitimate son of courtier Sir Nicholas Carew. Sir Nicholas had been executed in 1539 for his alleged involvement in the Exeter Conspiracy. Those involved in this conspiracy were accused of wanting to depose the king and to replace him with Cardinal Reginald Pole, son of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, and grandson of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence. Charles Carew was rector of Beddington and was accused of plotting to rob his grandmother, Malyn Oxenbridge, Lady Carew. It sounds like the Crown wanted rid of anyone linked to Cardinal Pole, after all, they couldn’t get their hands on the cardinal himself as he was abroad.