Anne Askew Burned at the Stake

This is the day that … Anne Askew was burned at the stake, in 1546.

Although reared in the Roman Catholic faith, and married to Thomas Kyne, a devout Roman Catholic, Anne read the chained Bible that Henry VIII had caused to be placed in Lincoln Cathedral. The truth of the gospel dawned upon her and she became a Protestant.

In March, 1545, she was arrested and accused of heretical beliefs – even of “tainting the Queen with heresy,” for she had once been employed as maid of honour to one of Henry’s many wives.

During her examination – or ‘inquisition’ might be a better word – before Bishop Bouner – she was required to sign a document declaring her allegiance to the ‘doctrine’ of transubstantiation.

And this she refused to do. “Concerning your Mass,” she told her judges, “I do say and believe it to be the most abominable idol that is in the world. For my God will not be eaten by teeth, neither yet dieth He again …”

Her fate was sealed. With three other ‘heretics’, she was martyred at Smithfield, London, at the age of 24 or 25.

This post is based on the work of my late friend Donald Prout whose love for books and Christian history led him to collate a daily Christian calendar. I continue to work with Don’s wife, Barbara, to share his life work with the world. I have updated some of these historical posts and will hopefully draw from Don’s huge files of clippings to continue this series beyond Don’s original work. More of Don’s work can be found at