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Execution Of Ten Martyrs At Lewes








Again we have to record the wholesale sacrifice of Christ's little
flock, of whom five were women. On the 22d of June, 1557, the town of
Lewes beheld ten persons doomed to perish by fire and persecution. The
names of these worthies were, Richard Woodman; G. Stephens, W. Mainard,
Alex. Hosman, and Thomasin Wood, servants; Margery Morris, and James
Morris, her son; Dennis Burges, Ashdon's wife, and Grove's wife.

These nine persons were taken a few days only before their judgment, and
suffered at Lewes, in Sussex, June 22, 1557. Of these, eight were
prematurely executed, inasmuch as the writ from London could not have
arrived for their burning. A person named Ambrose died in Maidstone
prison about this time.

Rev. Mr. John Hullier was brought up at Eton college, and in process of
time became curate of Babram, three miles from Cambridge and went
afterward to Lynn; where, opposing the superstition of the papists, he
was carried before Dr. Thirlby, bishop of Ely, and sent to Cambridge
castle: here he lay for a time, and was then sent to the Tolbooth
prison, where, after three months, he was brought to St. Mary's church,
and condemned by Dr. Fuller. On Maunday Thursday, he was brought to the
stake: while undressing, he told the people to bear witness that he was
about to suffer in a just cause, and exhorted them to believe, that
there was no other rock than Jesus Christ to build upon. A priest, named
Boyes, then desired the mayor to silence him. After praying, he went
meekly to the stake, and being bound with a chain, and placed in a pitch
barrel, fire was applied to the reeds and wood; but the wind drove the
fire directly to his back, which caused him under the severe agony to
pray the more fervently. His friends directed the executioner to fire
the pile to windward of his face, which was immediately done.

A quantity of books were now thrown into the fire, one of which (the
Communion Service) he caught, opened it, and joyfully continued to read
it, until the fire and smoke deprived him of sight; then even, in
earnest prayer, he pressed the book to his heart, thanking God for
bestowing on him in his last moments this precious gift.--The day being
hot, the fire burnt fiercely; and at a time when the spectators supposed
he was no more, he suddenly exclaimed, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!
And meekly resigned his life. He was burnt on Jesus Green, not far from
Jesus College. He had gunpowder given him, but he was dead before it
became ignited. This pious sufferer afforded a singular spectacle; for
his flesh was so burnt from the bones, which continued erect, that he
presented the idea of a skeleton figure chained to the stake. His
remains were eagerly seized by the multitude, and venerated by all who
admired his piety or detested inhuman bigotry.





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Previous: Executions In Kent



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