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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Surrey and Sussex

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Myths and Legends
Seventeen burning crosses commemorate Lewes' 17 Martyrs
© Peter Cripps - Sussex Express
Remember remember...

A catholic background

Mary Tudor, was a devout Catholic, and during the reign of her half brother, Edward VI, lived in withdrawal from the Royal Court, and emphatically refused to accept the Protestant faith. Despite a conspiracy devised by The Earl of Northumberland [1502-1553], to prevent her succession to the throne after Edward’s death, Mary Tudor entered London and seized power to the throne from Lady Jane Grey who had been enthroned for a mere nine days.

Mary proceeded cautiously at first, repealing anti-catholic legislation,
Part of the torchlight procession
Today the flames are for celebration
© Peter Cripps - Sussex Express
but soon, with the backing of Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal Pole, she proceeded to reinstate papal dominance and seal a Catholic union with Spain and Spanish King - Phillip II. The year 1554 was momentous. Lady Jane Grey was executed, Elizabeth, Mary’s half sister, was imprisoned and Mary I of England and Philip II of Spain were married. The following year was also one that will be etched on the annals of history with blood. The royal marriage between Mary and the Spanish Philip was deeply unpopular with such a close association with Spanish Catholicism. Mary’s persecution of the Protestants started in earnest in 1555, earning her the dubious name of “Bloody Mary”.

Protestants generally trace their separation from the Roman Catholic Church to the 1500s, which is sometimes called the magisterial Reformation because it initially proposed numerous radical revisions of the doctrinal standards of the Roman Catholic Church - called the magisterium.

Hundreds of Protestants were pursued and forced to languish in appalling conditions in jail while waiting examination or execution. No thought was even given for pregnant women, many of whom gave birth in squalid conditions with both mothers and babies dying in the company of odious criminals. There were eminent Christians in their number too: the Archbishop of Canterbury, several Bishops, dozens of clergymen and scholars – none were spared. Those who were lucky were able to escape abroad to France and beyond.

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Internet Links
John Foxe's Book of Martyrs
John Foxe - Martyrologist
Tudor Terror
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