The martyrs of Mary Tudor

To die for

The burning of Protestants during England’s ‘Reign of Terror’
By Andrew Atherstone
Day One. 128 pages. 10.00
ISBN 1 84625 003 X

This, the latest in Day One’s series of travel books, is published 450 years after England’s ‘reign of terror’, 1555-8, when nearly 300 Protestant Christians were burned to death, people of every social class and education, both men and women, eminent and unknown, from teenagers to old people.

Introductory chapters explain what these people believed in and why they posed a threat to the queen’s plans to restore Roman Catholicism in England. Subsequent chapters tell the stories of many different martyrs, grouped together in the areas where they suffered, with photos of places, statues, monuments and stained glass associated with them. Among these are sections on Smithfield in London, East Anglia, the bishops of Gloucester and St. David’s, the Essex martyrs at Brentwood and Colchester, the solitary martyr of the North, the two bishops and archbishop burned at Oxford, and the many who suffered in Kent and Sussex.

Valuable travel information and clear maps are provided, besides additional information on the links with Continental Reformers, English religious exiles, the geography of persecution and the issues at stake.

Attractively produced in full colour, this readable and reliable book brings history alive. Some readers may discover that they live near places linked with significant events and people. Others may be inspired to take a journey and will be encouraged by the faith of ordinary people who trusted the Bible and believed in Christ.

Joy Horn,
member of Cranleigh Baptist Church,
formerly on staff of London University Institute of Historical Research