On this day in 1534 – 140 Friars Observant were evicted from their convent

On 11th August 1534 140 Friars Observant were evicted from their convent in Greenwich by King Henry VIII and his council over their support for Katherine of Aragon as well as their refusal to accept the King as the Supreme Head of the Church. Henry was hoping that if he could get the Friars at Greenwich on side then the rest of the country would follow.

Out of the 140 evicted some were relocated to the Grey Friars where they were treated worse than if they were imprisoned, other friars were able to flee abroad whilst a few were imprisoned in London. Out of those expelled 31 died soon after. In the state Letters and Papers they were listed as followed;

John Spens died at London; also Thos. Artte, Thos. Kellam, Jeremy Manson, John Kinge, John Kyxe and Nic. Harfforthe. Judocus Asterdam died at Canterbury; Andrew Danolde at Greenwich; John Scryvner at Reading; also Ant. Lenes. Alex. Hyll died in patria; Theodoric Barkham at Greenwich; James Wylyamson at Colchester; Cornelius Symondys in patria; also Edw. Pope and John Biltone. Wm. ELlel at Dancaster. Gerard Dyryson in partia. John Martyne at Newcastle. Rob Bynkys at Reading. Fras. Caro at Bristol. Hen. Heltryne in partia; also Adrian Dehohe, Thos. Danyell and Fras. Carre. Lewis Wylkynson at Canterbury. Bryan Fysshborne at Yarmouth. Wm Hasarde at Dunwyche. John Wells at Ipswich. Robt. Bakare at Doncaster.”

Of those who did move to other friaries their time there was not long as the dissolution of the monasteries soon began.

Some of the friars were later beatified by Rome including John Forest who was eventually freed after he succumbed to Henry’s demands and signed anti Catholic oaths. However, he later regretted this decision and in 1538 was burned at the stake.

John ForestStained glass window of John Forest

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