Catholic Martyrs of the Protestant Reformation?

The Protestant reformation resulted in massive bloodshed, and very often people living in newly Protestant countries who wanted to stay Catholic were either driven out or murdered in cold blood.

I already know about the cold blooded murder of English Lord Chancellor Thomas More (the king who executed him also executed three of his wives). Who are some specific Catholic Martyrs of the Protestant reformation?

You may find this interesting.

There is a list of English Catholic Confessors and Martyrs in the Catholic Encyclopedia. You should also visit the church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs in Cambridge if you ever have the chance.

Although it is really post-Reformation, you might additionally consider the horrific phoenomenon of Souperism in mid-C19th Ireland: Protestant food banks which offered soup to the starving only if they converted.

For the English Protestant martyrs of the Reformation, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is the best source.

Saint Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh

Bishop Thomas Fisher, Margaret Clitherow, and the Jesuit Edmund Campion are perhaps the most famous Roman Catholic martyrs of Reformation England.

On the Reformers’ side, Tyndale, Archbishop Cranmer, and Bishops Latimer and Ridley are probably the most well known.

St Margaret Clitherow was martyred in England for the crime of harboring Catholic priests in her home (to say the Mass). When she was put on trial, she refused to renounce her Catholic Faith. She was sentenced to death. Here’s how she died: she was laid on a floor, then a wooden door was put on top of her, and then heavy rocks were placed on the door. She was crushed to death. She was thought to have been five months pregnant at the time. She left behind a husband and four children. She was a very saintly woman.

Two of Hank’s wives were executed, both (in theory) for treasonous actions. One was more likely guilty than the other.


Now surely that wasn’t the question as asked.


I admired how politely it was done, though.

Anglicans are generally well spoken and moderate and even-handed.

Motley, too.


I believe this quote deserves its own thread.
So, I created this one.


Here is a quote from this website debunking the credibility of these anti-Catholic arguments.

… the lack of credibility of John Fox, and his book “Acts and Monuments.” But let us take a few moments and examine a couple of the “Martyrs,” whose deaths were related by Fox.

Latimer and Ridley

Hugh Latimer began his infamous career in England as a Catholic priest, and also as “a most furious assailant of the Reformation religion.” (5) Because of this Henry VIII granted him the bishopric of Worcester.

Latimer, after having obtained this bishopric, then proceeded to change his opinions, but without giving up his Catholic bishopric. Being suspected of heresy, Latimer then abjured his protestant errors, thus keeping his bishopric for an additional twenty years while, inwardly, he despised the principles of the Church, and the bishopric he held in virtue of an oath to oppose to the utmost of his power all dissenters from the Catholic Religion.

During the reigns of Henry and Edward he sent to the stake Catholics and Protestants for holding opinions which he himself had before held openly, or that he held secretly at the time of his so sending them.

Latimer’s character is well-exhibited in his congratulatory letter to Thomas Cromwell on the killing of the family of Cardinal Reginald Pole: “Blessed be the God of England whose minister ye be! I heard you once say you would make him [Pole] eat his own heart, which you have now brought to pass, for he must needs eat his own heart and be as heartless as he is graceless.” (6)

**Ridley **was also a Catholic bishop during the reign of Henry VIII, during which reign he sent to the stake Catholics who denied the king’s supremacy and Protestants who denied the doctrine of transubstantiation. While during the reign of King Edward he was a Protestant bishop, and denied the dogma of transubstantiation himself.

During the reign of Edward VI he was given the bishopric of London, after agreeing to transfer a large portion of its possessions to the ministers and courtiers of that day. And lastly, he is guilty of treason against the then ruling monarch (Queen Mary Tudor) by attempting to stir the people up in rebellion against the Queen, and replace Mary with Lady Jane, in order that he might (by high treason) keep the bishopric which was obtained through perjury and simony.

In fact, Ridley (thinking that Lady Jane’s cause had triumphed) even went so far as to boldly proclaim Mary Tudor a bastard at St. Paul’s Cross; (7)
These are the types of individuals who are described by John Fox as being “Pillars of the Church and accomplished ornaments of human nature, … the admiration of the realm, amiably conspicuous in their lives, and glorious in their deaths.”

For more see my new thread here

            **Foxe’s Book of Martyrs Refuted**


It answered the question as asked, and provided just a little context.

There’s a slightly absurd but wholly commendable memorial in the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin to both the Roman Catholic and evangelical martyrs of the Reformation in Oxford; I do my best to remember (and further the remembrance of) all those who died, for better or for worse, with the intention of faithfully bearing witness to Christ and the faith of his Church.

To your credit, and to theirs, in different ways, And sure, it looks like a little balance and perspective is required.

I like a gentleman who preached a couple of sermons at St. Mary the Virgin, back in the day.


I’m a big Wesley fan too. :wink:

Yeah, him too.


Getting Back to the Purpose of this thread I submit the following:

Campion, Saint Edmund

Pictures at Pinterest Roman Catholic English Martyrs

The English Martyrs, Witnesses to Christ

Forty English Martyrs are:

There are about 70 beatified or canonized Catholic martyrs associated with Oxford. Five of these were killed in Oxford and their stories are presented

19 June 1535 – 3 Carthusian Monks Hanged, Drawn and Quartered

444 Irish Catholic Martyrs and Heroic Confessors: 1565-1713

**312 English Catholic Martyrs and Heroic Confessors During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth ("Bloody Good Queen Bess"): 1558-1603**

161 English and 269 Irish Catholic Martyrs During the Reign of the Tyrant Henry VIII: 1534-1544 [at the Very Least: 430 Martyrs**

The Catholic Lincolnshire Martyrs
Divorce, Dissolution, and Death: The English Martyrs

The English Martyrs, 4th May

Ecumenical take on ST. EDMUND CAMPION

Mary’s Dowry Production

They Sang All the Way to the Guillotine
Carmelite Nuns killed during French Revolution

See This Rock, Volume 17 Number 6
Issue Date: July, 2006
Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered: The English Martyrs
Drawn is a reference to a knife slicing open their abdomen and the victims innards, preferably their heart while still beating, is ripped out and thrown on the ground, so the victim can see it being stomped on while still hanging.

“Guy Fawkes Day” Gunpowder Plot November 5

Is Fawkes counted as a martyr? Has he ever been?

Of course not. I was providing “just a little context” to the anti-Catholic nature of (this) time period. Did you read the other links ?


Fair enough. Was just curious.

Some of them, yes. I’m reasonably well acquainted with the period, and with the blood on the hands of Henry, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth, among others.

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