On this day in Tudor history, 5th July 1583, shoemaker and religious radical John Copping was executed for 'dispersing' books by Robert Browne and Richard Harrison, which were viewed as “sundry seditious, schismatical and erroneous printed books”.
Copping had been arrested with his friend Elias Thacker, a tailor, and Thacker was executed the day before. Books were burned at each of their executions.
Copping had been in and out of jail from 1576 due to his radical views, but his final undoing was caused by radicals in his hometown of Bury St Edmunds wanting to add verses from Revelations to the arms of Queen Elizabeth in the local church, verses suggesting that Elizabeth was Jezebel, who did not repent of her fornication. Elizabeth’s government felt they had to act against radicals there.
Also on this day in Tudor history...