The Tudor Society

May 2 – Mary, Queen of Scots escapes, and an Anabaptist is burnt

On this day in Tudor history, 2nd May 1568, Mary, Queen of Scots, who had recently been forced to abdicate in favour of her son, King James VI, successfully escaped from Lochleven Castle.

How did she end up a prisoner at Lochleven?

How did she escape?

And what happened next?

On this day in 1550, Anabaptist Joan Bocher, was burnt to death at Smithfield for her belief in Christ's celestial flesh.

How did a Protestant end up being executed in Edward VI's reign and what did she mean by Christ having celestial flesh?

Find out more about Joan Bocher, or Joan of Kent, her beliefs and her links to Protestant martyr Anne Askew...

Here's William Wordsworth’s sonnet “Edward signing the warrant for the execution of Joan of Kent”:

"THE tears of man in various measure gush
From various sources; gently overflow
From blissful transport some--from clefts of woe
Some with ungovernable impulse rush;
And some, coeval with the earliest blush
Of infant passion, scarcely dare to show
Their pearly lustre--coming but to go;
And some break forth when others' sorrows crush
The sympathising heart. Nor these, nor yet
The noblest drops to admiration known,
To gratitude, to injuries forgiven--
Claim Heaven's regard like waters that have wet
The innocent eyes of youthful Monarchs driven
To pen the mandates, nature doth disown."

And also on this day in Tudor history, 2nd May 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn and her brother, George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, were arrested and taken to the Tower of London...

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May 2 – Mary, Queen of Scots escapes, and an Anabaptist is burnt