The Tudor Society
  • March 28 – The burnings of Protestants Stephen Knight, William Pygot and William Dighel

    Three silhouettes of a man's head

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th March 1555, Protestants Stephen Knight and William Pygot were burnt at the stake for heresy in Essex, at Maldon and Braintree, respectively.

    In his Book of Martyrs, martyrologist John Foxe writes of how Stephen Knight and William Pygot were first examined regarding their views on the eucharist, to which they answered that the body and blood of Christ were only in heaven and nowhere else. After being examined regarding other beliefs, according to Foxe, they “were exhorted to recant and revoke their doctrine, and receive the faith” but refused, and when Bishop Bonner realised “that neither his fair flatterings, nor yet his cruel threatenings, would prevail”, he condemned them for heresy.

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  • Burning at the stake

    I’ve talked about quite a few burnings at the stake recently as part of my “on this day in Tudor history” series of videos and this inspired me to look into the history of the punishment and to find out why it was used and how it was used.

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