On this day in 1556, some 20000 people gathered in Stratford to witness the burning at the stake by the Catholic Queen Mary Tudor of thirteen Protestants (eleven men and two women) accused of heresy. There is a memorial to the martyrs outside the church of St John in Stratford.
A number of Protestant heretics were also burned at the stake by Mary in West Smithfield, many of whom were later buried in the nearby church of St James in Clerkenwell. There is a memorial to three of them, namely, John Bradford, John Philpot and John Rogers, in West Smithfield. John Foxe gives an account of the burning of Bradford – and Leaf(e) – in his “Book of Martyrs”, published in 1563, which reads as follows:
“ … When Bradford and Leaf came to the Stake … , they lay flat on their faces, praying to themselves…
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