History's HEROES? 1521 - 1546

Anne Askew

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I sat two long hours arguing with the Lord Chancellor, upon the bare floor… With many flattering words, he tried to persuade me to leave my opinion… I said that I would rather die than break my faith
Anne Askew. Unknown

The sex and age of the heretic aggravated, rather than softened, the malice of her adversaries, who could not pardon a woman the presumption of opposing arguments and reason to their assertions and dogmas
Mary Hays (radical feminist) Female Biography Quotes. 1807

Was this not outright murder
John Bale, Protestant propagandist and Bishop of Ossory. The Examinations of Anne Askew. 1546

She had an angel’s countenance and a smiling face
Witness to her death. From John Bale's account. 1546
A vigorous, fearless Tudor woman who did not follow the courtesy books or the opinions of religious leaders
After that, she being born of such stock and kindred that she might have lived in great wealth and prosperity, if she would rather have followed the world than Christ
John Foxe, Acts and Monuments.

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I believe all those Scriptures to be true which He hath confirmed with His most precious blood. Yea, and, as St. Paul sayeth, those Scriptures are sufficient for our learning and salvation that Christ hath left here with us; so that I believe we need no unwritten verities with which to rule His Church
Anne Askew, at her execution, as described by John Foxe. 1546
She went to heaven in a chariot of fire
Oh friend most dearly beloved in God, I marvel not a little what moves you to judge so slender a faith in me as that I should fear death, which is the end of all misery. In the Lord, I desire you not to believe such wickedness of me. For I do not doubt but that God will perform his work in me, just as he has begun
Anne Askew, in a response to a letter from John Lascelles
O Lord, I have more enemies now, than there be hairs on my head! Yet, Lord, let them never overcome me with vain words, but fight thou, Lord, in my stead: for on Thee cast I my care! With all the spite they can imagine, they fall upon me, who am Thy poor creature. Yet, sweet Lord, let me not set by them that are against me; for in Thee is my whole delight. And, Lord, I heartily desire of Thee, that, Thou wilt, of Thy most merciful goodness, forgive them that violence which they do, and have done unto me; open also Thou their blind hearts, that they may hereafter do that thing in Thy sight, which is only acceptable before Thee, and to set forth Thy verity aright, without all vain fantasies of sinful man. So be it, 0 Lord, so be it
Anne Askew. 1546

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Then they did put me on the rack because I confessed no ladies or gentlemen to be of my opinion, and thereon they kept me a long time and because I lay still and did not cry, my Lord Chancellor and Master Rich took pains to rack me with their own hands till I was nigh dead
Anne Askew. 1546

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I would, my lord, that all men knew my conversation and living in all points, for I am so sure of myself this hour, that there is none able to prove any dishonesty in me. If you know any who can do it, I pray you bring them forth
Anne Askew (During her interrogation by Lord Bonner, when accused of being immoral). 1545
All who witnessed her noble martyrdom were impressed and inspired by the courage of this beautiful woman who gladly gave her life for Christ of one as the truest and purest witnesses of the Gospel of the Christian Church
John Foxe
If the documents present anything like an accurate picture [she] proved herself an educated, pert, and formidable disputant
A.G. Dickens

The good Anne Askew… being compassed in with the flames of fire, as a blessed sacrifice unto God… leaving behind her a singular example of Christian constancy for all men to follow
John Foxe.

Then Wriothesley the Lord Chancellor, sent to Anne Askew letters, offering to her the King's pardon if she would recant, who refusing once to look upon them, made this answer again, "that she came not thither to deny her Lord and Master." Then were the letters likewise offered unto the other'd, who, in like manner, following the constancy of the woman, denied not only to receive them, but also to look upon them. Where upon the Lord Mayor, commanding fire to be put unto them, cried with a loud voice "fiat justitia"
John Foxe, Acts and Monuments. 1546
They said to me there that I was a heretic and condemned by the law… I answered that I was no heretic, neither yet deserved I any death by the law of God
Anne Askew. 1546
Credibly am I informed by various Dutch merchants who were present there, that in the time of their sufferings, the sky, and abhorring so wicked an act, suddenly altered colour, and the clouds from above gave a thunder clap, not unlike the one written in Psalm 76. The elements both declared wherein the high displeasure of God for so tyrannous a murder of innocents
Then they asked of my lady of Suffolk, my lady of Sussex, my lady of Hereford, my lady Denny, and my lady Fitzwilliams, I said, if I should pronounce anything against them, that I would not be able to prove it
Anne Askew. 1546
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