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I would fain grow old learning many things... --Plato

The extreme response to heresy was to burn the heretic at the stake. However the practise was patchy in application. The following table from gives an estimate of executions by monarch.



Monarch Dates
Henry VII 1485-1509 24
Henry VIII 1509-1547 81
Edward VI 1547-1553 2
Mary 1553-1558 280
Elizabeth 1558-1603 4
  • Think about why people would see this punishment as appropriate for heresy.
  • Think about why people would submit to this punishment rather than deny their faith.

Jan Hus at the stake

Jan Hus was an early reformer. This picture is not related to the tudors but demonstrates the universal punishment of heretics.

John Hooper

John Hooper was the protestant bishop of Gloucester. Killed during Mary's reign. Woodcut from Foxe's book of martyrs.


Hugh Latimer

Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley. Both executed by Mary. Woodcut from Foxe's book of martyrs


William Tyndale

William Tyndale. Protestant reformer best known for translating the bible into english. An Englishman, he was executed at Vilvoorde near Brussels at the instigation of Henry VIII and/or agents of the English Church. Woodcut from Foxe's book of Martyrs.


John Rogers

John Rogers, first martyr under Mary I. Woodcut from Foxe's book of martyrs.


All pictures from All are in the public domain.