On this day in Tudor history, 2nd August 1581, an English Protestant named Richard Atkins was burned for heresy in Rome.
What had led this Englishman to his end in Rome? What had he done? And why was he tortured on his way to his execution?
I explain all in today's talk, sharing an account of his actions and his courageous end.
Also on this day in history:
- 1514 – Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, was granted a licence to found a college at Thornbury.
- 1521 – Cardinal Wolsey arrived in Calais to act as peacemaker and preside over a conference aiming to put an end to the fighting between France and the Empire.
- 1553 – Elizabeth greeted her half-sister, the newly proclaimed Queen Mary I, in London.
- 1555 – Burning of James Abbes, Protestant martyr, in Bury for heresy.
- 1556 – Death of George Day, Bishop of Chichester. He was buried in Chichester Cathedral.
- 1589 – Death of Henry III of France after being stabbed in the abdomen by Jacques Clément, a fanatical Dominican friar, the day before. He was buried at the Basilica of Saint-Denis
- 1595 – The Battle of Cornwall. Spanish forces landed at Mount's Bay and the English militia fled, allowing the Spanish troops to move on and burn Penzance, Mousehole, Paul and Newlyn.
- 1596 – Burial of Thomas Whithorne, composer and autobiographer, at St Mary Abchurch, London. Whithorne was Chapel Master to Archbishop Matthew Parker.
- 1601 – Death of George Eyste, author, town lecturer, preacher and Vicar. He died in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and was buried in his church, the Church of St Mary.
- 1605 – Death of Vice Admiral Sir Richard Leveson in the Strand, London. He was buried in St Peter's Church, Wolverhampton.
What a horrible fate, but Richard Atkins sounds as if he was deliberately seeking out martydom. Having gotten away with two of the most offensive insults to the Blessed Sacrament, he was not content and he felt he was called to do this. Oh dear, but at least his own faith was strong, even if he was misguided. RIP Mr Atkins.
Yes, I think he felt that he was called to die for the cause.