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14    <Metadata name="Title">Primary Sources: The execution of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, 1556</Metadata>
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18    <Metadata name="dc.Subject">Tudor period|Others</Metadata>
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44      &lt;td valign=&quot;top&quot; width=&quot;48%&quot; bgcolor=&quot;#FFFFE8&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;This
45      dramatic account of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's execution was written by
46      an anonymous bystander.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/font&gt;
47      &lt;p&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Cranmer was executed on 21 March 1556.&amp;nbsp; Imprisoned by
48      the Catholic Queen Mary I, Cranmer wrote a recantation of Protestantism,
49      but he denied that recantation before he died.&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
50      &lt;p&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Mary had good cause to dislike Cranmer.&amp;nbsp; Not only
51      was he the premier Protestant in England, he also annulled her parents'
52      marriage and subsequently married King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn.&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
53      &lt;p&gt;&lt;br&gt;
54      &lt;br&gt;
55      &lt;/td&gt;
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59But that I know for our great friendships, and long continued love,
60you look even of duty that I should signify to you of the truth of such
61things as here chanceth among us; I would not at this time have written
62to you the unfortunate end, and doubtful tragedy, of Thomas Cranmer late
63bishop of Canterbury: because I little pleasure take in beholding of such
64heavy sights.&amp;nbsp; And, when they are once overpassed, I like not to rehearse
65them again; being but a renewing of my woe, and doubling my grief.&amp;nbsp;
66For although his former, and wretched end, deserves a greater misery, (if
67any greater might have chanced than chanced unto him), yet, setting aside
68his offenses to God and his country, and beholding the man without his
69faults, I think there was none that pitied not his case, and bewailed not
70his fortune, and feared not his own chance, to see so noble a prelate,
71so grave a counsellor, of so long continued honor, after so many dignities,
72in his old years to be deprived of his estate, adjudged to die, and in
73so painful a death to end his life.&amp;nbsp; I have no delight to increase
74it.&amp;nbsp; Alas, it is too much of itself, that ever so heavy a case should
75betide to man, and man to deserve it.
76&lt;br&gt;But to come to the matter: on Saturday last, being 21 of March, was
77his day appointed to die.&amp;nbsp; And because the morning was much rainy,
78the sermon appointed by Mr Dr Cole to be made at the stake, was made in
79St Mary's church: whither Dr Cranmer was brought by the mayor and aldermen,
80and my lord Williams: with whom came divers gentlemen of the shire, sir
81T A Bridges, sir John Browne, and others.&amp;nbsp; Where was prepared, over
82against the pulpit, a high place for him, that all the people might see
83him.&amp;nbsp; And, when he had ascended it, he kneeled him down and prayed,
84weeping tenderly: which moved a great number to tears, that had conceived
85an assured hope of his conversion and repentance....
86&lt;br&gt;When praying was done, he stood up, and, having leave to speak, said,
87'Good people, I had intended indeed to desire you to pray for me; which
88because Mr Doctor hath desired, and you have done already, I thank you
89most heartily for it.&amp;nbsp; And now will I pray for myself, as I could
90best devise for mine own comfort, and say the prayer, word for word, as
91I have here written it.'&amp;nbsp; And he read it standing: and after kneeled
92down, and said the Lord's Prayer; and all the people on their knees devoutly
93praying with him....
94&lt;br&gt;And then rising, he said, 'Every man desireth, good people, at the
95time of their deaths, to give some good exhortation, that other may remember
96after their deaths, and be the better thereby.&amp;nbsp; So I beseech God grant
97me grace, that I may speak something, at this my departing, whereby God
98may be glorified, and you edified....
99&lt;br&gt;And now I come to the great thing that troubleth my conscience more
100than nay other thing that ever I said or did in my life: and that is, the
101setting abroad of writings contrary to the truth.&amp;nbsp; Which here now
102I renounce and refuse, as things written with my hand, contrary to the
103truth which I thought in my heart, and written for fear of death, and to
104save my life, if it might be: and that is, all such bills, which I have
105written or signed with mine own hand since my degradation: wherein I have
106written many things untrue.&amp;nbsp; And forasmuch as my hand offended in
107writing contrary to my heart, therefore my hand shall first be punished:
108for if I may come to the fire, it shall be first burned.&amp;nbsp; And as for
109the pope, I refuse him, as Christ's enemy and antichrist, with all his
110false doctrine.'
111&lt;br&gt;And here, being admonished of his recantation and dissembling, he said,
112'Alas, my lord, I have been a man that all my life loved plainness, and
113never dissembled till now against the truth; which I am most sorry for
114it.'&amp;nbsp; He added hereunto, that, for the sacrament, he believed as he
115had taught in his book against the bishop of Winchester.&amp;nbsp; And here
116he was suffered to speak no more....
117&lt;br&gt;Then was he carried away; and a great number, that did run to see him
118go so wicjedly to his death, ran after him, exhorting him, while time was,
119to remember himself.&amp;nbsp; And one Friar John, a godly and well learned
120man, all the way traveled with him to reduce him.&amp;nbsp; But it would not
121be.&amp;nbsp; What they said in particular I cannot tell, but the effect appeared
122in the end: for at the stake he professed, that he died in all such opinions
123as he had taught, and oft repented him of his recantation.
124&lt;br&gt;Coming to the stake with a cheerful countenance and willing mind, he
125put off his garments with haste, and stood upright in his shirt: and bachelor
126of divinity, named Elye, of Brazen-nose college, labored to convert him
127to his former recantation, with the two Spanish friars.&amp;nbsp; And when
128the friars saw his constancy, they said in Latin to one another 'Let us
129go from him: we ought not to be nigh him: for the devil is with him.'&amp;nbsp;
130But the bachelor of divinity was more earnest with him: unto whom he answered,
131that, as concerning his recantation, he repented it right sore, because
132he knew it was against the truth; with other words more.&amp;nbsp; Whereby
133the Lord Williams cried, 'Make short, make short.'&amp;nbsp; Then the bishop
134took certain of his friends by the hand.&amp;nbsp; But the bachelor of divinity
135refused to take him by the hand, and blamed all the others that so did,
136and said, he was sorry that ever he came in his company.&amp;nbsp; And yet
137again he required him to agree to his former recantation.&amp;nbsp; And the
138bishop answered, (showing his hand), 'This was the hand that wrote it,
139and therefore shall it suffer first punishment.'
140&lt;br&gt;Fire being now put to him, he stretched out his right hand, and thrust
141it into the flame, and held it there a good space, before the fire came
142to any other part of his body; where his hand was seen of every man sensibly
143burning, crying with a&amp;nbsp; loud voice, 'This hand hath offended.'&amp;nbsp;
144As soon as the fire got up, he was very soon dead, never stirring or crying
145all the while.
146&lt;br&gt;His patience in the torment, his courage in dying, if it had been taken
147either for the glory of God, the wealth of his country, or the testimony
148of truth, as it was for a pernicious error, and subversion of true religion,
149I could worthily have commended the example, and matched it with the fame
150of any father of ancient time: but, seeing that not the death, but cause
151and quarrel thereof, commendeth the sufferer, I cannot but much dispraise
152his obstinate stubbornness and sturdiness in dying, and specially in so
153evil a cause.&amp;nbsp; Surely his death much grieved every man; but not after
154one sort.&amp;nbsp; Some pitied to see his body so tormented with the fire
155raging upon the silly carcass, that counted not of the folly.&amp;nbsp; Other
156that passed not much of the body, lamented to see him spill his soul, wretchedly,
157without redemption, to be plagued for ever.&amp;nbsp; His friends sorrowed
158for love; his enemies for pity; strangers for a common kind of humanity,
159whereby we are bound one to another.&amp;nbsp; Thus I have enforced myself,
160for your sake, to discourse this heavy narration, contrary to my mind:
161and, being more than half weary, I make a short end, wishing you a quieter
162life, with less honor; and easier death, with more praise.&lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;
163    &lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;to Primary Sources&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
164    &lt;/tr&gt;
165  &lt;/table&gt;
166  &lt;/center&gt;
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