Burned at the stake is in Executions.
On 10 Dec 304 Saint Eulalia of Mérida (age 12) burned at the stake at Augusta Emerita for refusing to adopt Roman Gods. She challenged the authorities to martyr her. The judge's attempts at flattery and bribery failed. She was stripped by the soldiers, tortured with hooks and torches, and burnt at the stake. When she died a dove flew out of her mouth. Snow covered her nakedness.
Chronicle of Gregory 1403-1419. 1410. And that yere ther was an heretyke, that was callyd John of Badby, that be-levyd nought in the Sacrament of the Auter, and he was brought unt[o] Smethefylde for to be brent, and bownde unto a stake; and Syr Harry Percy of Walys (age 23)1 conselyd hym to holde the very ryght beleve of Hooly Chyrche, and he shulde faylle nothyr lacke noo goode. Al so the Chaunceler of Oxynford, on Mayster Corteney, informyd hym in the faythe of Holy Chyrche, and the Pryour of Syn Bartholomewys brought the hooly sacrament with xij torchys and brought hyt before hym. And hyt was askyd howe that he be-levyde. Ande he answeryd and sayde that he wyste welle that hit was hooly brede, and nought Goodys oune blessyde body. And thenne was the tonne putt ovyr hym ande fyre put unto hym; and whenne he felde fyre he cryde marcy. And a-non the prynce commaundyd to take a wey the fyre, and hit was don soo anon. And then the prynce (age 23) askyd hym yf that he wolde for-sake hys heresy and be-leve on the faythe of alle Hooly Chyrche, and he wolde gyffe hym hys lyffe and goode i-nowe whyle he levyd; but he wolde nought, but contynuyde forthe in hys heresye. And thenne the prynce commaundyd hym up to be brende at onys, and soo he was. And John Gylott, vynter, he made ij wevers to be take, the whyche folowyd the same waye of heresy.
And the same tyme was the hurlynge in Estechepe by the lorde Thomas and the lorde John, the kyngys sone, &c.
Note 3. Percy. A clerical error. "Harry Prince of Wales" is the reading in other Chronicles.
Chronicle of Gregory 1403-1419. 05 Jan 1415. Ande that same yere, on the Twelfe the nyght, were a-restyd certayne personys, called Lollers, atte the sygne of the Ax, whithe owte Byschoppe ys gate, the whyche Lollers hadde caste to have made a mommynge at Eltham, and undyr coloure of the mommynge to have dystryte the kyng (age 28) and Hooly Chyrche. And they hadde ordaynyde to have hadde the fylde be-syde Syn Gylys. But, thonkyd be God Almyghty, owre kyng (age 28) hadde warnyng thereof, and he come unto London and toke the felde be syde Syn Jonys in Clerkynwelle; and as they come the kyng (age 28) toke them, and many othyr. And there was a knyght take that was namy[d] Syr Roger of Acton, and he was drawe and hanggyd be syde Syn Gyly, for the kynge let to be made iiij payre of galowys, the whiche that were i-callyd the Lollers galowys. Al so a preste that hyght Syr John Bevyrlay, and a squyer that hyght John Browne of Oldecastellys, they were hanggyd; and many moo were hanggyd and brent, to the nomber of xxxviij personys and moo.
Chronicle of Gregory 1438. 14 May 1438. And the same yere on Estyr day there was on John Gardyner take at Synt Mary at the Axe in London, for he was an herytyke; for whenne shulde have benne houselyd he wypyd hys mouthe whithe a foule clothe and layde the oste there yn; and so he was takyn by the person of the chyrche, and the xiiij day of May he was i-breht in Smethefylde [Map].
Chronicle of Gregory 1440. 1440. And that same yere there was a preste i-callyd Syr Rycharde Wyche and hys servand brent atte the Tourehylle [Map], for the whyche there was moche trobil a-monge the pepylle, in soo moche that alle the wardys in London were assygnyd to wake there day and nyght that the pepylle myght nought have hyr ylle purpose as at that tyme.
Chronicle of Gregory 1441. 27 Oct 1441. And on Syn Symon and Jude ys eve was the wycche (age 26) be syde Westemyster brent in Smethefylde [Map], and on the day of Symon and Jude the person of Syn Stevynnys in Walbroke, whyche that was one of the same fore sayde traytours, deyde in the Toure [Map] for sorowe.
Note 1. Necromancy.
On 27 Oct 1441 Margery Jourdemayne "The Witch of Eye" (age 26) was burned at the stake.
Wriothesley's Chronicle. 20 Nov 1531. This yeare, in November, on St. Edmonds day,a there was oneb convict of heresie which was some tyme a moncke in St. Edmondsburie, and was disgraded in Powles by the Bishop of London (age 56) of the orders of priesthoode, and so delivered to the Sherifies of London; and the 4th day of December followinge he was burnt in Smythfeilde [Map].
Note a. Norember 20.
Note b. Bayfield.
Wriothesley's Chronicle. 04 Jul 1533. This yeare, in Julie, on a Fridaie, one Frith (age 30), a servingman, a great clearke in the Greeke and Latten tonge, was brent in Smithfielde [Map], and a tailor of London with him, for heresie.b
Note b. John Frith (age 30) and Andrew Hewit, both Protestants; the former, a yonng man of learning and piety, was condemned for his book against the doctrine of Purgatory and his opinions on Transabstantiation.
Wriothesley's Chronicle. 04 Jun 1535. This yeare, the 4th day of June, were diverse Dutch men and weomen convicted for heresie to the number of 22,a of the which 14 were condemned, and two of them, that is to say a man and a woman, were brent in Smythfeild [Map] this day at three of the clocke in the aftemoone, and the other 12 were sent to diverse good townes in England, there to be brent; and the residue were converted and commaunded to departe out of this realme within 14 dayes into their countries, on payne of death at the Kings pleasure.
Note a. On the 25th May, in St. Paul's church at London, 19 men and 6 women, born in Holland, were examined, of whom 14 were convicted as Anabaptists.—Stow.
Wriothesley's Chronicle. 15 May 1536. And first the Kinges commission was redd, and then the Constable of the Tower (age 60)e and the Lieutenant (age 56) brought forthe the Queene (age 35) to the barre, where was made a chaire for her to sitt downe in, and then her indictment was redd afore her,g whereunto she made so wise and discreet aunsweres to all thinges layde against her, excusinge herselfe with her wordes so clearlie, as thoughe she had never bene faultie to the same,a and at length putt her to the triall of the Peeres of the Realme, and then were 26 of the greatest peeres there present chosen to passe on her, the Duke of Suffolke beinge highest, and, after they had communed together, the yongest lorde of the saide inquest was called first to give verdict, who sayde guiltie, and so everie lorde and earle after their degrees sayde guiltie to the last and so condemned her. And then the Duke of Northfolke (age 63) gave this sentence on her, sayinge: Because thou haste offended our Sovereigne the Kinges grace, in committinge treason against his person, and here attaynted of the same,' the lawe of the realme is this, that thou haste deserved death, and thy judgment is this: That thow shalt be brent here within the Tower of London on the Greene [Map], els to have thy head smitten of as the Kinges pleasure shal be further knowne of the same; and so she was brought to warde agayne, and two ladies wayted on her, which came in with her at the first, and wayted still on her, whose names were the Ladie Kingstone (age 60) and the Ladie Boleyn (age 56), her aunte.NOTEXT
Note e. Sir William Kingston (age 60).
Note f. Sir Edmond Walsingham (age 56).
Note g. Her indictment, which comprised six sereral charges, is preserred in the Public Record Office, with the subsequent proceedings thereon.
Note a. Upon her examination she positively denied she had ever been false to the King; but, being told that Norris, Weston, Brereton, and Smeton had accused her, she said she ought not to conceal certain things which had passed between her and them. See Burnet, tom, i. pp. 191, 280, &c.
On 17 Jul 1537 Janet Douglas Lady Glamis (age 39) was burned at the stake at Edinburgh Castle [Map] for conspiring against the king's (age 25) life. Her son, John 7th Lord Glamis Lyon (age 16), was supposedly a witness to the burning.
Hall's Chronicle 1540. Dec 1540. In this yere was burned in Smithfeld [Map], a child named Richard Mekins, this child passed not the age of fifteen years, and somewhat as he had heard some other folks talk, chanced to speak against the Sacrament of the Altar. This boy was accused to Edmond Boner (age 40) Bishop of London, who so diligently followed the accusation, that he first found the means to indite him, and then arraigned him, and after burned him. And at the time he was brought to the stake, he was taught to speak much good, of the Bishop of London, and of the great charity, that he showed him and that he defied all heresies, and cursed the time that ever he knew Doctor Barnes, for of him had he learned that heresy, which he died for. The poor boy would for the safeguard of his life have gladly said that the twelve Apostles taught it him, for he had not cared of whom he had named it, such was his childish innocence and fear. But for this deed many spoke and said, that it was great shame for the Bishop, who they said ought rather to have laboured to have saved his life, then to procure that terrible execution, seeing that he was such an ignorant soul, as knew not what the affirming of an heresy was.
Diary of Edward VI. 02 May 1550. Jhon (Joan) Bocher, otherwis Jhon (Joan) of Kent1, was burnt for holding that Christ was not incarnat of the Virgin Mary, being condemned the yere befor, but kept in hope of conversion; and the 30 of April the bishop of London (age 50) and the bishop of Elie2 were to perswad her. But she withstode them, and reviled the preacher (age 40) that preached at her death.3
Note 1. Joan Bocher, alias Knell, was a martyr for religious opinions, whose story is not related by John Foxe: but that historian mentions her incidentally in his account of the King's character, illustrating his meek nature by the following anecdote: "Hee alwaies spared and favoured the life of man: as in a certain dissertation of his once appeared, had with master Cheeke in favoring the life of heretickes: in so much that when Joane Butcher should have been burned, all the counsel could not moove him to put-to his hand, but were faine to get doctour Cranmer to perswade with him, and yet neither coulde hee with much labour induce the King so to doe, saying, What, my lord, will yee have me send her quick to the devill in her error ? So that doctour Cranmer himselfe confessed that hee had never so much to doe in all his life, as to cause the King to put-to his hand, saying that he would laie aU the charge thereof upon Cranmer before God." This story, apocryphal at the best, has been considered so far to the discredit of Cranmer (age 60) that his friends have been anxious to vindicate him. Mr. Bruce, in the Works of Roger Hutchinson, edited for the Parker Society, 1842, Preface, p. iv., has shewn that the King would not be required to sign any document on the occasion, the warrant of the council being sufficient. For the particulars of Joan Bocher and her heresy see Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 43; the General Index to the Works of the Parker Society, 1855, p. 124; also the General Index to the Works of Strype, Oxford edition. The religious insurrection in Kent, which the King has just mentioned under the date of the 26th April, was perhaps the proximate cause of her suffering; for it was on the 27th that the council issued their warrant to the lord chancellor (age 53) to make out a writ to the sheriffs of London for her execution. (Council Book.)
Note 3. "There preached before her, or she dyed, Scory (age 40); and she said to hym he lyed lyke a knave, &c." Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London, p. 66. The preacher was John Scory, afterwards bishop of Hereford in the reign of Elizabeth.
Henry Machyn's Diary. 14 Mar 1551. The xiiij day of Marche was hangyd, in Smyth-feld [Map], on John Mosbe and ys syster, for the death of a gentyll man of Feyversham, one M. Arden the custemer, and ys owne wyff was decaul.... and she was burnyd at Canturbery [Map] and her sarvand hangyd ther, and ij at Feyversham and on at Hospryng, and nodur in the he way to Canturbery, for the death of M. Arden of Feyversham. [and at Flusshyng was bernyd Blake Tome for the sam deth of M. Arden. [Note. This last line was added to the entry some time after it was written.]
Note. The murder of master Arden of Feversham. The particulars of this memorable domestic tragedy will be found very fully narrated in Holinshed's Chronicle; and from the Wardmote Book of Feversham in Jacob's History of that town, 8vo. 1774, p. 197. See also a long narrative among Stowe's transcripts, MS. Harl. 542, ff. 34-37. It created so great a public interest that it became the subject not only of a Ballad which will be found in Evans's collection, 1810, vol. iii. pp. 217-225; but also of a Play published in 4to. 1592, again in 1599 and 1633, and lastly in 1770, when the editor, Edward Jacob, esq. who afterwards published the History of Feversham above mentioned, in his preface offered "some reasons in favour of its being the earliest dramatic work of Shakspeare now remaining." Mr. Collier's remarks on this subject will be found in his History of the Stage and of Dramatic Poetry, iii. 52. Lillo also began a tragedy founded on the same story, which was finished by Dr. John Hoadly, and printed in 12mo. 1762.
The concern taken by the government in the prosecution of the parties guilty of this murder, is shown by the following extracts from the Privy Council book:-
"1551, 5th Marche. A Lettere to the Justyces of Peace in Kente, advertesinge them the order taken for the punishmente of those that murdered Mr. Ardeyrn; Videliset, Sicely Pounder, widowe, and Thomas Mosbye, to be hanged in Smithfield, in London; Alice Ardeyrn, to be burned at Canterburye, and Bradshawe, to be hanged there in cheanes; Michaell Saunderson, to be hanged, drawne, and quartered, at Feversham, and Elizabeth Stafford to be burned there." (MS. Harl. 352, fol. 156.) On the same day, "A Letter to the Sherifes of London, to receave of the Sherife of Kent, Cicelye Poundere, widowe, and Thomas Mosbye, to be hanged in Smithfield, for the Murder of Thomas Ardeine of Fevershame; and a Letter to the Maiore of Canterburye, to receave of the Sherife of Kente Alice Ardeine, to be burned at Canterburye, and Bradshawe, to be hanged there, for the Murder of Mr. Ardeine." (lb. fol. 157.)
The actual murderer, and also one Greene, a confederate, had escaped. The following entries will be found to correct and explain Holinshed's account of their capture.
"1551, 28th May. A Lettere to Mr. North, to enlarge one Bate out of thecountere, who convayed away one Greene, of Fevershame, after the Murdere of Mr. Ardeine was ther don, and undertaketh to brynge forthe Greene again, yf he may have libertie; providinge that he take sufficient sureties, either to become prisonere againe, or else to bringe forthe the said Greene." (lb. fol. 174.)
"1551, 15th June. A Letter to Sr. William Godolphine knighte, of thankes for his dilligence in the apprehencione of Blacke Will, that killed Mr. Arderne of Feversham, and to send him in saufe garde, with promise of paymente for the charges of the bringeres "It appears from Holinshed and from our Diary (in which this person is called Black Tom,) that he was not sent home, according to this request, but was "burnt on a scaffold, at Flushing, in Zealand."
Henry Machyn's Diary. 26 Apr 1552. The sam day was bornyd at the Towre-hylle [Map] at after[noon] vij mon and viij maymed and lyke to dee, and alle was by takyng [ill] heyde and by beytyng of gunpowder in a morter, and by stryk[ing] of fyre, that a sparke of fyre fell in-tho the powder, and so alle f[ired] ...
On 20 Jan 1555 the statutes for burning heretics, originally enacted to repress Lollardism, De heretico comburendo was re-enacted to allow the burning of Protestants.
In early Feb 1555 the first of the Protestant executions took place:
Henry Machyn's Diary. 22 Jan 1555. The xxij day of January whent in-to Smythfeld [Map] to berne betwyn vij and viij in the mornyng v men and ij women; on of the men was a gentyllman of the ender tempull, ys nam master Gren; and they wer all bornyd by ix at iij postes; and ther wher a commonment thrughe London over nyght that no yong folke shuld come ther, for ther the grettest [number] was as has byne sene at shyche a tyme.
On 01 Jul 1555 John Braford Reformer (age 45) was burned at the stake.
Henry Machyn's Diary. 23 Aug 1555. The xxiij day of August was bornyd at [Stratford]-of-bowe, in the conte of Mydyllsex, a woman, [wife] of John Waren, clothworker, a huphulster [over] agaynst sant Johns in Walbroke; the wyche .... John her hosband was bornyd with on Cardmaker in Smythfeld, for herese boyth; and the sam woman had a sune taken at her bornyng and cared to Nuwgatt [Map] [to his] syster, for they will borne [burn] boyth.
Henry Machyn's Diary. 09 Oct 1555. The ix day of October was a servyngman, [the] penter('s) broder that war bornyd at Staynes, was bered in Morefeld be-syd the doge-howsse, be-caus he was not resseff the ryctes of the chyrche, and thys lawe.
Note. P. 95. Burial of hereticks in Morefields. This was the usual practice with those who by a natural death (if such a term can be applied to the result of imprisonment and privations) escaped the stake and the faggots. See in Foxe, vol. iii. p. 537, a graphic cut of such a burial, with archers from the neighbouring butts as spectators.
On 16 Jan 1556 Archdeacon John Philpot (age 40) was burned at the stake.
Foxe's Book of Martyrs. 24 Mar 1556. Those articles thus answered, (for their articles were one, and their answers in manner like,) the chancellor read their condemnation, and so delivered them to the sheriff: Then spake John Spicer, saying; "O Master Sheriff, now must you be their butcher, that you may be guilty also with them of innocent blood before the Lord." This was the twenty-hird day of March, anno 1556; and the twenty-fourth day of the same month they were carried out of the common gaol [Map] to a place betwixt Salisbury and Wilton, where were two posts set for them to be burnt at: which men coming to the place, kneeled down, and made their prayers secretly together; and then, being disclothed to their shirts, John Maundrel spake with a loud voice, "Not for all Salisbury;" which words men judged to be an answer to the sheriff, which offered him the queen's pardon if he would recant. And after that in like manner spake John Spicer, saying, "This is the joyfullest day that ever I saw." Thus were they three burnt at two stakes; where most constantly they gave their bodies to the fire, and their souls to the Lord, for testimony of his truth.
Note. Tradition suggests they were burned at the location of the Spike, indicating a stake or, subsequently, a gallows, indicated 'S' bottom left on John Speed's map of 1611.
Henry Machyn's Diary. 15 May 1556. The xv day of May was cared in a care from Nuwgatt thrug London unto Strettford-a-bow to borne ij men; the on blyne [one blind], the thodur lame; and ij tall men, the (one) was a penter, the thodur a clothworker; the penter ys nam was Huw Loveroke, dwellyng in Seythin lane; the blynd man dwellyng in sant Thomas apostylles.
Henry Machyn's Diary. 13 Nov 1557. The xiij day of November was sant Erkenwald eve, the iiij and v yere of king and quen, whent owt of Newgatt [Map] unto Smyth-feld [Map] to be bornyd iij men; on was [blank] Gybsun, the sun of sergantt Gybsun, sergantt of armes, and of the reywelles [revels], and of the kynges tenstes [tents]; and ij more, the whyche here be ther names-Gybsun, Hali[day,] and Sparow, thes iij men.