Ex-Classics Home Page




Five other martyrs in Canterbury, four women and one man, at two stakes and one fire, all burned together.

            After these seven before rehearsed, martyred together in Smithfield, shortly after in the same month, the thirty-first day of January, followed another like fellowship of godly martyrs at Canterbury, four women and one man, whose names be these: -- John Lomas, a young man; Anne Albright, Joan Catmer, Agnes Snoth, widow; and Joan Sole, a wife.


John Lomas, martyr.

            John Lomas, of the parish of Tenterden, detected and presented of that religion which the papists call heresy, and cited upon the same to appear at Canterbury, examined there of the first article, whether he believed the catholic church or no, answered thus; that he believed so much as is contained in God's book, and no more.

            Then being assigned to appear again under the pain of the law the next Wednesday sevennight after, which was the seventeenth day of January, the said Lomas, examined whether he would be confessed of a priest or no, answered and said, that he found it not written that he should be confessed to any priest, in God's book; neither would be con. fessed, unless he were accused by some man of sin. Again, examined whether he believed the body of Christ to be in the sacrament of the altar really, under the forms of bread and wine, after the consecration, or no, he answered that he believed no reality of Christ's body to be in the sacrament; neither found he written, that he is there under form or tressel, but he believed so much as is written. Being then demanded whether he believed that there is a catholic church or no, and whether he would be content to be a member of the same, he answered thereunto, that he believed so much as was written in God's book; and other answer than this he refused to give, &c.: whereupon the sentence was given and read against him the eighteenth day of January. And so committed to the secular power, he constantly suffered for the conscience of a true faith, with the other four women here following.


Agnes Snoth, martyr.

            Agnes Snoth, widow, of the parish of Smarden, likewise accused and cited for the true profession of Christ's religion, was divers times examined before the Pharisaical fathers; who there, compelled to answer to such articles and interrogatories as should be ministered unto her, first denied to be confessed to a priest: notwithstanding, she denied not to confess her offences as one to another, but not auricularly to any priest. And as touching, the sacrament of the altar, she protested that if she or any other did receive the sacrament so as Christ and his apostles after him did deliver it, then she and they did receive it to their comfort: but as it is now used in the church, she said that no man could otherwise receive it than to his damnation, as she thought. Afterward being examined again concerning penance, whether it were a sacrament or no, she plainly denied the same, and that the popish manner of their absolution was not consonant to the word, nor necessary to be taken; with such other like, agreeing with the answers and confession of John Lomas before mentioned. Whereupon the sentence being likewise read, she was committed to the sheriffs of Canterbury, and so suffering martyrdom with the rest, declared herself a perfect and constant witness of Christ and of his truth the thirty-first day of January.


Anne Albright, alias Champnes, martyr.

            Against Anne Albright, likewise appearing before the judge and his colleagues, it was also objected concerning the same matter of confession: whereunto she answered in these words, saying, "that she would not be confessed of a priest; "and added moreover, speaking unto the priests, "You priests," said she, "are the children of perdition, and can do no good by your confession." And likewise speaking unto the judge and his assistants, she told them that they were subverters of Christ's truth.

            And as touching the sacrament of the altar, she said it was a naughty and abominable idol, and so utterly denied the same sacrament. Thus, persisting and persevering in her former sayings and answers, she was condemned the said eighteenth day of the said month, with the others above mentioned; with whom also she suffered quietly, and with great comfort, for the right of Christ's religion.


Joan Sole.

            In the like manner Joan Sole, of the parish of Horton, was condemned of the same Pharisees and priests, for not allowing confession auricular, and for denying the real presence and substance of Christ to be in the sacrament of the altar: who, after their Pharisaical sentence being promulgated, was brought by the sheriffs to the stake with the other four, and sustained the like martyrdom with them, through the assistance of God's holy grace and Spirit mightily working in her, to the glory of his name, and confirmation of his truth.


Joan Catmer.

            The fifth and last of this heavenly company of martyrs, was Joan Catmer, of the parish of Hythe, wife (as it should seem) of George Catmer, burned before, who being asked what she said to confession made to a priest, denied to be confessed to any such priest. And moreover, the judge speaking of the sacrament of the altar, she said and affirmed, that she believed not in that sacrament, as it was then used; for that it was made, said she, a very idol. In this her confession she, remaining and persisting, was by the like sentence cruelly of them condemned; and so suffered with the foresaid John Lomas, and the other three fellow martyrs, ratifying and confessing with their blood the true knowledge and doctrine of the glorious gospel of Christ Jesus our Saviour.

            These five persons were burnt at two stakes and one fire together, at Canterbury, as is before said: who, when the fire was flaming about their ears, did sing psalms. Whereat the good knight, Sir John Norton, being there present, wept bitterly at the sight thereof.

            The judges and other assistants which sat upon her, and the other four above mentioned, were Richard Faucet, John Warren, John Mills, Robert Collins, and John Baker the notary.


Previous Next