On this day in 1555 – John Laurence burned at the stake

On 29th March 1555 Protestant martyr John Laurence was burned at the stake in Colchester. In his life he was a clergyman and a priest at the former Blackfriar in Suffolk.

Laurence was reported to have been taken to the stake in a chair because the irons that he was kept in during his time in prison had made him so weak.

Laurence’s story was recorded in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, who wrote;

“The next day being the 29. Day of this moneth, the sayd Iohn Laurence was brought to Colchester, and there being not able to go, (for that as wel his legges were sore worne with heauie irons in the prison, as also hys bodye weakened with euill keeping) was borne to the firein a chayre, and so sitting, was in hys constant faith consumed with fire

At the burning of this Laurence, hee sitting in the fire the young children came about the fire, and cryed, (as wel as young children could speake) saying: Lorde strengthen thy seruaunt, and keepe thy promise, Lord strengthen they seruaunt, and keepe thy promise.”

John Laurence was just one of the many Protestants killed by Queen Mary I.

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