History's HEROES? 1521 - 1546

Anne Askew

Anne Askew - Timeline

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1509 April 21st - Henry VIII becomes king of England.
1517 30th November - Martin Luther starts the Protestant Reformation, when he nails his '95 Theses of Contention' to a Church door in Germany.
1521 King Henry VIII defends the Catholic Church from Martin Luther's accusations of heresy, in a book entitled 'The Defence of the Seven Sacraments'. He is given the title 'Defender of the Faith' by Pope Leo X.
Anne Askew is born in South Kelsey to William and his second wife Elizabeth Askew (nee Wrottesley). Anne is, apparently, one of the last of the five children born to the couple.
1522- 5 Anne's mother dies and her father marries Elizabeth Hutton, they have a further two children. Anne is brought up by her father and stepmother.
1526 William Tyndale publishes the first part of his Bible (new testament) translated into English, for a public, lay readership. Later, around 1529, he translates the old testament.
1533 King Henry VIII divorces Catherine of Aragon and the coronation of Anne Boleyn, as the queen of England, takes place.
1534 The Act of Supremacy gives King Henry VIII the title of 'Supreme Head of the Church in England' - thus establishing the Anglican Church and the break with Rome.
1535 July 6th - Sir Thomas More is executed for treason against King Henry VIII. He refuses to recognise Henry VIII's divorce and the English Church's break with Rome.
1536 William Tyndale, translator of the Bible into English, is tried in Brussels on a charge of heresy. He is strangled to death while tied at the stake. His Bible continues to play a key role in spreading Reformation ideas across Europe.
October 2nd to 18th - Lincolnshire uprising against Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. This is followed by a larger uprising in Yorkshire (The pilgrimage of Grace). Both are put down ruthlessly.
Anne, aged 15, is forced by her father to marry Thomas Kyme, a local Catholic landowner, after the death of her sister who was engaged to him.
Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII's chief minister, instructs each parish in England to acquire a copy of the Bible in English by Easter 1539.
1537 - 44 Some commentators believe Anne bears two children.
1538 A proclamation is issued in late 1538 forbidding free discussion of the Blessed Sacrament (a Christian religious rite involving a re-enactment of the final meal that Jesus shared with his disciples) and forbidding clerical marriage, on pain of death.
November - King Henry VIII personally presides at the trial of John Lambert for denying the real presence. He is burnt to death on November 22nd at Smithfield, London.
1539 June - 'An Act Abolishing Diversity in Opinions, the Act of Six Articles, reinforces existing heresy laws and reasserts traditional Catholic doctrine as the basis of faith for the English Church.
August - Under Cromwell's direction, a new version, the Great Bible (largely a translation by William Tyndale of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures), is authorised.
1540 June 28th - Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII's long-time advisor and Chief Minister, is executed. Different reasons are advanced: one being that he would not enforce the Act of Six Articles. Many other arrests under the Act follow.
Henry VIII - begins his attack upon the free availability of the Bible. Many English Bibles which had been put in place are now removed.
1541 William Askew, Anne’s father, dies.
1543 By the Act for the Advancement of True Religion, Henry restricts Bible reading to men of noble birth. He expresses his fears to parliament that "the Word of God, is disputed, rhymed, sung and jangled in every ale-house and tavern".
July 12th - King Henry VIII marries Catherine Parr. Catherine is interested in the reformed faith, making her enemies with the conservatives of Henry’s court.
1544 Baron Thomas Wriothesley is made Lord Chancellor; he is a conservative especially interested in stamping out heresy.
1544 - 45 Thomas Kyme, Anne's husband, grows angry with his devoutly Protestant wife and orders her from the home.
1545 Anne goes to London and tries to divorce Thomas Kyme. She is unsuccessful.
Anne renounces her married name and returns to the name of Askew.
Anne stays in London and is befriended by other Protestants; it is possible that some are ladies close to the court of Catherine Parr.
Anne starts distributing Bibles in English and preaching Protestantism.
March - Anne, along with some other Protestants, is arrested. She is examined for two days, concerning her faith by the Lord Mayor, Christopher Dare. She answers cleverly and does not implicate herself.
Anne is detained in prison for 11 days, and refused bail.
Anne writes an account of her arrest, imprisonment and interrogation.
23rd March - A relation of Anne's succeeds in obtaining her release on bail. Anne's sureties (those held liable for a monetary payment if she misbehaves) are Mr. Britagne, her relation, and Mr. Spilman of Gray's Inn.
Anne's husband is ordered to take her back to Lincolnshire. She escapes and returns to London.
1546 Early in the year - Anne’s petition for divorce is dismissed. The court orders her to return to her husband; Anne refuses.
February - The king is told that a Protestant woman, Anne Askew, may have connections with the queen. The king orders Anne Askew to be questioned again.
March 10th - Anne is arrested on heresy charges. She is tried before a kind of grand jury whose job it is to determine whether the accused is likely to be heretical. After much interrogation she is released and she returns to her brother's house.
May - Anne is arrested once more and summoned before the king's council at Greenwich. She is examined by Wriothesley, the Chancellor, and Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
June 18th - Anne is convicted of heresy and is committed to Newgate Prison. She is condemned to death.
Anne starts to write her account about her second arrest, imprisonment, interrogation and death sentence.
Anne is taken from Newgate to the Tower of London, where she is tortured on the rack to make her confess her patrons at court. She refuses to name anyone.
Early July - Catherine Parr begins "frankly to debate with the king touching religion" (Foxe). Henry is angered by some of his wife's freely expressed Protestant views.
July 16th - Anne can no longer walk and has to be carried to her execution on a chair. She remains defiant, refusing to recant to obtain a pardon from the king. Anne Askew is burned at the stake in Smithfield, just outside the London Wall.
A warrant is issued for the arrest of Queen Catherine. Hearing of this, she persuades the king that she was only questioning him to learn from his wisdom. Wriothesley arrives to arrest Catherine but the king sends him away, calling him a fool and beast.
John Bale, from exile, publishes Anne’s account of her arrest in 1545, in 'The First Examination'.
1547 January 28th - King Henry VIII dies.
John Bale publishes Anne’s account and letters about her arrest and torture in 1546, in 'The Latter Examination'.
February 20th - Edward VI is crowned king at the age of 9. He is the first king to have been raised as a Protestant. Persecution of Protestants stops under his reign but religious persecution will continue in one way or another for 200 years.
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