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Carthusian Martyrs of England

LawrenceOP-Fan
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The feast of the English Martyrs is celebrated on this day because 4 May 1535 is the date when the first martyrs of the Protestant Reformation were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, London, for …More
The feast of the English Martyrs is celebrated on this day because 4 May 1535 is the date when the first martyrs of the Protestant Reformation were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, London, for opposing the Act of Succession that recognised the progeny of the adulterous relationship of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn as the legitimate heirs to the throne and for refusing to assent to the Act of Supremacy, through which the King asserted himself as “the only Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England”. The five who were dragged across London on hurdles that day – watched from the Bell Tower as they left the Tower of London by St Thomas More, “cheerfully going to their deaths as bridegrooms to their marriage” – were Carthusian priors St John Houghton of London, St Robert Lawrence of Beauvale and St Augustine Webster of Axholme, and St Richard Reynolds, a Bridgettine of Syon Abbey, and Blessed John Haile, a secular priest. St John Houghton, Prior of the London Charterhouse, was the first to die and was conscious throughout an ordeal that included partial hanging, castration and disembowelment. The point of death came when his heart was torn from his chest and held before his face. His final words were reportedly: “Good Jesu, what wilt Thou do with my heart?” One of St John’s quarters was later nailed to the main gate of the London Charterhouse to signify the seriousness of the King’s intent. This painting of St John Houghton and his companions is in the chapel of the London Charterhouse.

Source: Lawrence OP on Flickr
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