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Mrs Cicely Ormes








This young martyr, aged twenty-two, was the wife of Mr. Edmund Ormes,
worsted weaver of St. Lawrence, Norwich. At the death of Miller and
Elizabeth Cooper, before mentioned, she had said that she would pledge
them of the same cup they drank of. For these words she was brought to
the chancellor, who would have discharged her upon promising to go to
church, and to keep her belief to herself. As she would not consent to
this, the chancellor urged that he had shown more lenity to her than any
other person, and was unwilling to condemn her, because she was an
ignorant foolish woman; to this she replied, (perhaps with more
shrewdness than he expected,) that, however great his desire might be to
spare her sinful flesh, it could not equal her inclination to surrender
it up in so great a quarrel. The chancellor then pronounced the fiery
sentence, and, September 23, 1557, she was brought to the stake, at
eight o'clock in the morning. After declaring her faith to the people,
she laid her hand on the stake, and said, "Welcome thou cross of
Christ." Her hand was sooted in doing this, (for it was the same stake
at which Miller and Cooper were burnt,) and she at first wiped it; but
directly after again welcomed and embraced it as the "sweet cross of
Christ." After the tormentors had kindled the fire, she said, "My soul
doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit doth rejoice in God my Saviour."
Then crossing her hands upon her breast, and looking upwards with the
utmost serenity, she stood the fiery furnace. Her hands continued
gradually to rise till the sinews were dried, and then they fell. She
uttered no sigh of pain, but yielded her life, an emblem of that
celestial paradise in which is the presence of God, blessed for ever.

It might be contended that this martyr voluntarily sought her own death,
as the chancellor scarcely exacted any other penance of her than to keep
her belief to herself; yet it should seem in this instance as if God had
chosen her to be a shining light, for a twelve-month before she was
taken, she had recanted; but she was wretched till the chancellor was
informed, by letter, that she repented of her recantation from the
bottom of her heart. As if to compensate for her former apostacy, and to
convince the catholics that she meant no more to compromise for her
personal security, she boldly refused his friendly offer of permitting
her to temporize. Her courage in such a cause deserves commendation--the
cause of Him who has said, Whoever is ashamed of me on earth, of such
will I be ashamed in heaven.

In November, Thomas Spurdance, one of queen Mary's servants, was brought
before the chancellor of Norwich, who, among his interrogations, was
severely recriminated upon by the prisoner. This good man was taken by
two of his fellow-servants, dwelling at Codman, in Suffolk. He was sent
to Bury where he remained some time in prison, and in November, 1557,
braved the fiery indignation of the enemies of Christ with Christian
fortitude and resignation.

J. Hallingdale, W. Sparrow, and R Gibson, suffered in Smithfield
November 18th, 1557.





Next: Rev John Rough
Previous: Executions At Islington



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