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Tudor Minute March 21, 1556: Archbishop Thomas Cranmer Execution

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for March 21.

Today in 1556 Archbishop Thomas Cranmer was executed by Mary I, the most famous of the Marian Martyrs. Mary had an especial grudge against Cranmer, as he orchestrated the divorce between Henry VIII and her mother, Catherine of Aragon. His execution was probably illegal as he had recanted, and people who recanted were meant to be forgiven, and set free. But Cranmer wasn’t. He gave a scaffold speech – he had been ordered to make one final recantation, but he didn’t. Instead, he recanted his recantations, and he renounced the Pope as Christ’s enemy, and the antichrist.

John Foxe called his burning an act of glorious martyrdom.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.


Episode 078: John Knox

Tudor Minute December 4: Cranmer is sentenced

Reformation Month Episodes