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The Grundisburgh martyr

Today in 1558, Alice Driver and Alexander Gooch were burned on the Cornhill in Ipswich. Her trial record, particularly her testimony, shows that Alice Driver freely admitted not sharing certain Roman Catholic beliefs and this was sufficient to convict her. Both are commemorated on this monument in Christchurch Park (left) and Driver by a road in her home village.

These executions happened only thirteen days before both Mary I and Cardinal Pole died and the next monarch repealed de heretico comburendo, the law under which Driver and Gooch were put to death, such that it was last used in Canterbury on the 15th of that month. For comparison, the third Duke of Norfolk was scheduled for beheading in January 1547 but reprieved when Henry VIII died a few hours earlier.

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2 thoughts on “The Grundisburgh martyr

  1. sighthound6 on said:

    I always find it ironic that only two people were burned under Henry IV, who was responsible for the statute, but far more by certain of his successors. I believe there were even some rare executions under the Yorkist kings, but it was the Tudors who really made use of the statute. Just shows how bad legislation can be dangerous long after those who wrote it are dead.

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  2. Pingback: Grundisburgh | Mid Anglia Group, Richard III Society

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