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LIST  - of female Christian martyrs



Prior to the Reign of Queen Mary I


(in progress)

1) Joan Clarke, a married women, was obliged to light the logs that were to burn her father.

2) A pious woman was burnt at Chippen Sudburne, by order of the chancellor, Dr. Whittenham. a bull broke loose from a butcher and singling out the chancellor from all the rest of the company, he gored him through the body, and on his horns carried his entrails.

3) Wife and children of Robert Silks?, burnt alive. The sheriffs always seized the goods of the martyrs for their own use, so that their wives and children were left to starve.

4) Wife of Thomas Harding In 1532, , who with his wife, had been accused of heresy, was brought before the bishop of Lincoln, and condemned for denying the real presence in the Sacrament.



Persecutions in England During the Reign of Queen Mary






The Canterbury Martyrs of 1556


3) AGNES SNOTH Annes Snoth or Annis Snod (widow) ...... of Smarten, Kent .......

4) ANNE WRIGHT (or Albright) alias Champnes

5) JOAN SOLE (or Jone Soale) (wife) .......... Horton, Kent

6) JOAN CATMER ....... of Hythe, Kent, 'wife (as it should seem) of George Catmer', burnt in 1555

7) ROSE NOTTINGHAM As Robert Samuel, the godly martyr, was going to the fire, there came a certain maid kissed him, sought for the next day she escaped their fiery hands, keeping herself secret in the town a good while after.


8) ANNE POTTEN (wife of brewer Robert Potten) ....... Ipswich, Suffolk......... burnt 19 February 1556, Ipswich, Cornhill

9) JOAN TRUNCHFIELD (wife of Michael Trunchfield a shoemaker) ...... Ipswich, Suffolk....... burnt 19 February 1556, Ipswich, Cornhill

10) AGNES BONGOER (and the vision of 3 ladders of martyr Robert Samuel)



12) ALICE POTKINS In November, fifteen martyrs were imprisoned in Canterbury castle, of whom all were either burnt or famished. Among the latter was Alice Potkins, sentenced to the fire.


13) JOAN WINSELEY (of Horsley Magnam, spinster)

14) MARG. FIELD, (of Ramsey, spinster)


16) C. PEPPER (widow)

17) ALICE WALLEY (who recanted)

18) C. WARREN (of Cocksall, spinster)

19) AGNES WHITLOCK (of Dover-court, spinster)

20) ROSE ALLEN (spinster)


Persecutions in the Diocese of Canterbury


21) BARBARY FINAL (widow)

22) Bardbridge's widow,

23) Wilson's wife,

24) ALICE BENDEN (wife of Edward Benden)

25) ELIZABETH COOPER wife of a pewterer, of St. Andrews, Norwich, had recanted; but tortured for what she had done by the worm which dieth not, she shortly after voluntarily entered her parish church during the time of the popish service, and standing up, audibly proclaimed that she revoked her former recantation, and cautioned the people to avoid her unworthy example.


Executions at Colchester



27) ROSE ALLIN (Alice Munt's daughter)


28) MRS. JOYCE LEWES wife of Mr. T. Lewes, of Manchester. She had received the Romish religion as true, until the burning of that pious martyr, Mr. Saunders, at Coventry. Understanding that his death arose from a refusal to receive the Mass, she began to inquire into the ground of his refusal, and her conscience, as it began to be enlightened, became restless and alarmed.


29) 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 chanellor,





32) CATHERINE FINLAY [alias Catherine Knight] (an Aged Woman)


[not sure if there is a connection between 3) AGNES SNOTH & 4) ANNE WRIGHT - the names are remarkably similar]



Queen Mary's Treatment of Her Sister, the Princess Elizabeth


The mistreatment by Bloody Mary of Princess Elizabeth (later Elizabeth R, Queen Elizabeth 1st) is not recorded here. I believe that Elizabeth 1st in her reign was very violent, falling little short of that of Queen Mary before her. In this sense I do not consider Elizabeth a martyr, as I do not consider her, or Mary, Christians, as those who kill torture and torment others in either fashion, wether called Catholic or Protestant, are not really Christian. Though it can be argued that the persecutions and torments Elizabeth endured were at a younger stage in her life, when she did not herself practice such cruelty, and perhaps then was little capable of it, until tormented herself. A link is provided to read the article about Elizabeth.



The Rise, Progress, Persecutions, and Sufferings of the Quakers


QUOTE: "In treating of these people in a historical manner, we are obliged to have recourse to much tenderness. That they differ from the generality of Protestants in some of the capital points of religion cannot be denied, and yet, as Protestant dissenters they are included under the description of the toleration act. It is not our business to inquire whether people of similar sentiments had any existence in the primitive ages of Christianity: perhaps, in some respects, they had not, but we are to write of them not as what they were, but what they now are. That they have been treated by several writers in a very contemptuous manner is certain; that they did not deserve such treatment, is equally certain." I disagree on both points. Not killing is standard to real Christian beliefs, and it is our business to ""

to inquire whether people of similar sentiments had any existence in the primitive ages of Christianity


"O King Charles!


"Our desire is, that thou mayest live forever in the fear of God, and thy council. We beseech thee and thy council to read these following lines in tender bowels, and compassion for our souls, and for your good.


"And this consider, we are about four hundred imprisoned, in and about this city, of men and women from their families, besides, in the county jails, about ten hundred; we desire that our meetings may not be broken up, but that all may come to a fair trial, that our innocency may be cleared up.



When James, by his dispensing power, granted liberty to the dissenters, they began to enjoy some rest from their troubles; and indeed it was high time, for they were swelled to an enormous amount. They, the year before this, to them one of glad release, in a petition to James for a cessation of their sufferings, set forth, "that of late above one thousand five hundred of their friends, both men and women, and that now there remain one thousand three hundred and eighty-three; of which two hundred are women, many under sentence of praemunire; and more than three hundred near it, for refusing the oath of allegiance, because they could not swear. Three hundred and fifty have died in prison since the year 1680; in London, the jail of Newgate has been crowded, within these two years sometimes with near twenty in a room, whereby several have been suffocated, and others, who have been taken out sick, have died of malignant fevers within a few days. Great violences, outrageous distresses, and woful havoc and spoil, have been made upon people's goods and estates, by a company of idle, extravagant, and merciless informers, by persecutions on the conventicle-act, and others, also on qui tam writs, and on other processes, for twenty pounds a month, and two thirds of their estates seized for the king. Some had not a bed to rest on, others had no cattle to till the ground, nor corn for feed or bread, nor tools to work with; the said informers and bailiffs in some places breaking into houses, and making great waste and spoil, under pretence of serving the king and the Church. Our religious assemblies have been charged at common law with being rioters and disturbers of the public peace, whereby great numbers have been confined in prison without regard to age, and many confined to holes and dungeons. The seizing for 20 pounds a month has amounted to many thousands, and several who have employed some hundreds of poor people in manufactures, are disabled to do so any more, by reason of long imprisonment. They spare neither widow nor fatherless, nor have they so much as a bed to lie on. The informers are both witnesses and prosecutors, to the ruin of great numbers of sober families; and justices of the peace have been threatened with the forfeiture of one hundred pounds, if they do not issue out warrants upon their informations." With this petition they presented a list of their friends in prison, in the several counties, amounting to four hundred and sixty.

33) The wife of Valentine Freese....... burnt 1540........York, Yorkshire

34) Joan Bocher......... Kent – perhaps Romney Marsh .......... (executed 2 May 1550, Smithfield, London)

35) Margaret Polley (or Margery) widow .......... Pepeling, Calais .......... (burnt 17 July 1555, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent) The Canterbury Martyrs of July 1555

36) Elizabeth Warne (or Warren) widow of John Warne, upholsterer .......(from Walbrook), London........ (burnt 23 August 1555, Stratford-atte-Bow, London) The Canterbury Martyrs of August 1555

37) Isobella Forster (or Annis Foster, .......... St Bride's parish, Fleet Street, London – Born in Greystoke, Cumberland, wife of John Foster, cutler....... (burnt 27 January 1556, Smithfield, London)

38) Joan Lushford (or Jone Lashforde) (or Warne)......... Little Allhallows parish, Thames Street, London ....... maid .......

burnt 27 January 1556, Smithfield, London

39) Joan Beach (widow) ....... of Tunbridge Wells, Kent ........ burnt 1 April 1556, Rochester, Kent

40) Katherine Hut (widow) ........... of Bocking, Essex ....... burnt 16 May 1556, Smithfield, London

41) Elizabeth Thackvel (maid) ....... Great Burstead, Essex ....... burnt 16 May 1556, Smithfield, London

42) Joan (or Jone) Horns (maid) ....... Billericay, Essex ....... burnt 16 May 1556, Smithfield, London

42) Joan Deny or Jone (or Denny) (possibly a male, John) ....... Beccles, Suffolk ....... burnt 21 May 1556, Beccles, Suffolk

43) Elizabeth Pepper (wife of Thomas Pepper, weaver) ....... St James's parish, Colchester ........ burnt about 27 June 1556, Stratford-Atte-Bow

44) Agnes George (wife of Richard George, husbandman) ....... West Barefold, Essex ....... burnt about 27 June 1556, Stratford-Atte-Bow

45) Anne Tree (or Try) ....... of East Grinstead, Sussex ....... burnt 18 July 1556, Grinstead, Sussex

46) Rose Pencell ....... burnt 17 October 1555, Bristol

47) Margaret Hyde ....... burnt 12 April 1557, Smithfield, London

48) Agnes Stanley or Stanlye ....... burnt 12 April 1557, Smithfield, London

49) Joan/Jone Bradbridge ....... Staplehurst, Kent ....... burnt 18 June 1557, Maidstone, Kent, (Presumably a relative of Widow Bradbridge, burnt 19 June 1557)

50) Petronil Appleby (wife of Walter Appleby) ........ Maidstone, Kent ....... burnt 18 June 1557, Maidstone, Kent,

51) Katherine Allin /Allen (Wife of Edmund Allin/Allen, miller) ........ Maplehurst Mill, Frittenden, Kent ....... burnt 18 June 1557, Maidstone, Kent,

52) Joan/Jone Manning ....... Maidstone, Kent ....... burnt 18 June 1557, Maidstone, Kent,

53) Elizabeth (surname possibly 'Lewis') (blind Maid) ........ burnt 18 June 1557, Maidstone, Kent,


The Canterbury martyrs of June 1557


54) Barbara Final ....... burnt 19 June 1557, Canterbury, Kent

55) Bradbridge's Widow (Bradbridge's Wife) ....... Probably the widow of Martin Bradbridge, burnt 16 January 1557 ....... burnt 19 June 1557, Canterbury, Kent

56) Mistress Wilson (also referred to as 'Wilson's Wife') ....... burnt 19 June 1557, Canterbury, Kent

57) Alice Benden, possibly also referred to as 'Benson's Wife' ....... Staplehurst (or possibly Cranbrook), Kent ....... burnt 19 June 1557, Canterbury, Kent


The Lewes Martyrs


58) Margery Morris (or Marcery/Margaret) (or Morice) ....... Heathfield, Sussex ....... burnt 22 June 1557, Lewes, Sussex

59) Ann Ashdon (or Ashdown) (also referred to as 'Ashdon's Wife') ....... Rotherfield, Sussex ....... burnt 22 June 1557, Lewes, Sussex

60) Mary Groves (or Gloue's)(also referred to as 'Gloue's Wife') ....... Lewes, Sussex ....... burnt 22 June 1557, Lewes, Sussex



61) Elizabeth Cooper (wife of a pewterer) ....... St Andrew's Parish, Norwich, Norfolk .......burnt 13 July 1557,

Norwich, Norfolk

62) Agnes Silverside (or Smith) (widow) ....... Colchester, Essex ....... burnt 2 August 1557, Colchester, Essex

63) Helen Ewring (or Ellen Ewring) (wife of John Ewring, miller) ....... Colchester, Essex ....... burnt 2 August 1557, Colchester, Essex

64) Elizabeth Folk ('young maiden' and servant) ....... Colchester, Essex ....... burnt 2 August 1557, Colchester, Essex

65) Alice Munt (or Mount) wife of William Munt (or Mount) ....... Much Bentley, Essex ....... burnt 2 August 1557, Colchester, Essex

66) Rose Allen (spinster, daughter of Alice Mount) ....... Much Bentley, Essex ....... burnt 2 August 1557, Colchester, Essex

67) Sister of George Eagles ....... burnt August 1557, Rochester, Kent

68) Unknown Woman ....... burnt August 1557, Rochester, Kent

69) Joyce Lewis (gentlewoman) ....... Mancetter, Warwickshire ....... burnt September 1557, Lichfield, Staffordshire (– may be the same as Joyce Bowes, August 1557 (the Regester)

70) Margery Austoo/Auscoo ....... burnt 17 September 1557, Islington

71) Agnes Bongeor/An Banger (also known as Bowmer's Wife), wife of Richard Bongeor -(similar name but different ....... burnt 17 September (or unknown date July) ....... Colchester, Essex

72) Margaret Thurston /Widow Thurston-similar name but different .....burnt 17 September (or unknown date July) ....... Colchester, Essex

73) Cicely Ormes ....... (wife of Edmund Ormes, worsted-weaver) ....... St Edmund's Parish, Norwich, Norfolk ....... burnt 23 September 1557,

Norwich, Norfolk

74) Margaret Maring/Mering ....... burnt 22 December 1557 ....... Smithfield, London

75) Alice Driver (wife of a husbandman) ....... Grundisburgh, Suffolk ....... burnt 4 November 1558, Ipswich Cornhill



***) Catherine, wife of Peter Martyr Vermigli, exhumed 1556, Cambridge


***) Margaret Eliot (or Ellis) (maid) ....... from Billericay, Essex ....... died in Newgate Prison, London May 1556


*** ) William Dangerfield, his wife Joan and their infant child ....... sickened in prison


***) Three people ..... died in prison ....... October 1556 ....... Chichester Castle, Sussex (or Canterbury Castle, Kent, according to Knox)


***) Alice Potkins ....... sickened and died in prison ....... in or after November 1556 ....... Canterbury Castle, Kent


76) Elizabeth Warne (or Warren) (widow of John Warne, upholsterer) ....... Walbrook, London ....... burnt 23 August 1555, Stratford-atte-Bow, London

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