History's HEROES? 1521 - 1546

Anne Askew

What she did


Her legacy

Anne Askew wrote during imprisonment about her ordeal. A copy of this account was smuggled out to her friends. Rather than being silenced, as the authorities hoped, Anne's story found a very eager and popular readership. It was quickly embraced by other Reformers.

Her account of her ordeal and her beliefs was published as 'The Examinations' by Protestant bishop John Bale and later in John Foxe's 'Acts and Monuments' of 1563. This also proclaims her as a Protestant martyr, which helped further her cause for religious freedom.

Anne's writings:
Anne's writings are accounts of her imprisonments and interrogations. There are also letters and other statements composed during the course of her conflict with the authorities.

'The First Examination' (published 1546) includes details of:
Anne's arrest in 1545
Her confinement and interrogation by London officials
The pressure she underwent to recant her story and sign a confession. The anger of her interrogators at her refusal. 
Her release from prison with the help of influential friends.

'The Second Examination' (Published ) includes details of:
Anne's two-day examination by the king's council
Her subsequent imprisonment  
Her arguments that her arrest and condemnation without trial were illegal, and her requests for justice from the king and various officials (in the form of various letters included with the work)
Her imprisonment in the Tower of London where she was interrogated, tortured and sentenced to die.

Anne Askew's works continue to be reprinted to the present day and are consulted by historians and religious writers alike.  

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