The Tudor Society
  • July 12 – Burnings in Canterbury

    A photo of Butchery Lane, Canterbury

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th July 1555, in the reign of Queen Mary I, preachers John Bland and John Frankesh, rector Nicholas Sheterden and vicar Humphrey Middleton were burned at Canterbury in Kent. They were all Protestants burned for heresy.

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  • Monday martyr – John Hullier

    An engraving of John Hullier's execution

    This week’s Monday martyr is Protestant martyr John Hullier (Hulliarde, Huller or Hullyer), who was burnt at the stake in Cambridge for his Protestant faith on Maundy Thursday 1556, 2nd April, in the reign of Queen Mary I.

    Martyrologist John Foxe tells is that Hullier was educated at Eton before becoming a scholar and then a “conduct”, a chaplain, at King’s College, Cambridge, in 1539. Some time after that, he became curate of Babraham, near Cambridge, and had “divers conflicts with the papists” after preaching at King’s Lynn. This led to him being questioned by Dr Thomas Thirlby, Bishop of Ely, who sent him to be confined in Cambridge Castle and then the Tolbooth in Cambridge, where, according to Foxe, he was imprisoned for three months.

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  • 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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  • 21 September – Pendleton the Proud, a fickle man

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st September 1557, Henry Pendleton, theologian, chaplain and friend of Bishop Bonner, was buried at St Stephen’s, Walbrook, London.

    Pendleton is known not only for his strong preaching, which led to him being shot at once, but also for his changing religious faith. He went from staunch Catholic to zealous Protestant to staunch Catholic, even taking part in disputations with his former friends and seeing them imprisoned and burnt.

    Find out more about Henry Pendleton, his life, career and changing religious beliefs, in today’s talk.

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  • 5 September – The death of Bloody Bonner

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th September 1569, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London and a man nicknamed “Bloody Bonner”, died in Marshalsea Prison. He had started his career in Henry VIII’s reign and was not just a churchman, he was also a diplomat.

    In today’s talk, I flesh out this Tudor bishop who got his nickname from being in charge of burning reformers in London. Find out about his life, career and how he ended up dying in prison.

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