The Tudor Society
  • Walter Raleigh’s colonisation, war over vestments, an earl who saved the day, and some burnings

    In part two of this week in Tudor history, I talk about Walter Raleigh (Ralegh) being given permission to colonise foreign lands in 1584; a disagreement over the wearing of vestments in 1566 which led to a pamphlet war, protests and ministers losing their parishes; a Tudor earl who saved the day for Henry VIII during the 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion, and the burnings of three Protestant martyrs in Essex in 1555.

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  • 15 July – The Newbury Martyrs

    On this day in Tudor history, 15th July 1556, the trial of Julins Palmer, John Gwyn and Thomas Robyns, men now known as the Newbury Martyrs, opened at St Nicholas Church in Newbury. The men were accused of sedition and heresy.

    But how did Julins Palmer, a formerly staunch Catholic end up being executed for heresy in Mary I’s reign?

    Find out more about Palmer, his trial and the executions of the Newbury Martyrs in today’s talk.

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  • 30 July – Reformers and Catholics executed on the same day!

    What a confusing day it must have been for the citizens of London on 30th July 1540! For it was on this day in history, in the reign of King Henry VIII, that both Catholics and men of the reformed faith were executed in London. Crazy times indeed!

    Find out more about why Thomas Abell, Edward Powell and Richard Fetherston, and Robert Barnes, William Jerome and Thomas Garrard, were executed in today’s talk.

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  • 17 July 1555 – The burnings of Margaret Polley and Christopher Wade

    On this day in history, 17th July 1555, Protestants Margaret (Margery) Polley and Christopher Wade (Waid) were burned for heresy. Wade was a linen-weaver from Dartford and Polley was a widow from Pepenbury, Tunbridge Wells.

    Martyrologist John Foxe described Margaret Polley as being “in the prime of her life, pious, charitable, humane, learned in the Scriptures, and beloved by all who knew her” and “the first female martyr in England”, although surely that title actually belongs to Anne Askew, who was burned for heresy in 1546.

    Here is John Foxe’s account of the condemnations and burnings of Polley and Wade:

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  • 9 February 1555 – The burnings of Bishop John Hooper and Archdeacon Rowland Taylor

    On this day in history, 9th February 1555, the burnings of two prominent Protestant churchmen took place.

    John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, was burned at the stake in Gloucester. He had been deprived of his bishopric in March 1554, due to his marriage. Rowland Taylor, Rector of Hadleigh in Suffolk, Canon of Rochester Cathedral, Archdeacon of Bury St Edmunds, Archdeacon of Cornwall and former chaplain to Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, was burned on Aldham Common, near Hadleigh. Both men were executed as part of Queen Mary I’s persecution of Protestants.

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  • 16 October 1555 – The Burnings of Bishops Ridley and Latimer

    he burnings of two of the Oxford martyrs: Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, and Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London took place on this day in 1555, in the reign of the Catholic Mary I. The two men, along with Thomas Cranmer, who was burnt at the stake on the 21st March 1556, are known as the Oxford Martyrs and their lives and deaths are commemorated in Oxford by Martyrs’ Memorial, a stone monument just outside Balliol College and near to the execution site, which was completed in 1843. A cross of stones set into the road in Broad Street marks the site of their burnings.

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  • The Martyrdom of Robert Samuel, Preacher, suffering for the true defence of Christ’s Gospel

    “The Martyrdom of Robert Samuel, Preacher, suffering for the true defence of Christ’s Gospel” is the title of the chapter of martyrologist John Foxe’s account of the imprisonment and death of Robert Samuel, former minister of East Bergholt Church in Suffolk, who was burned at the stake on 31st August 1555. Samuel was one of the Ipswich Martyrs, one of nine people who were executed between 1515 and 1558 for their Lollard or Protestant beliefs.

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