The 450th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer
Today is the 450th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer.
Those of you who followed my travels to England this past Advent know I was quite moved by visiting the sites of his martyrdom and of Latimer and Ridley’s.
It’s difficult for me to put into a few words why his martyrdom means so much to me. I know I love the Prayer Book that he wrote. I sympathize with him because, as Diarmaid MacCulloch’s biography of Cranmer brings out well, he was quite human and, yes, weak at times. Yet I revere him because, as an old man Bloody Mary thought she had broken, he finished with such defiant strength.
I’m sure others can opine on his martyrdom with much more eloquence than I. So instead, here’s a few photos I took of the martyrdom sites that meant so much to me:
The prison door that held Cranmer. Now in the tower of St. Michael’s at the North Gate.
A column cut to hold the platform on which Cranmer denounced his recantations in the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin on the day he was martyred. By the way, you can just reach out and touch the door and the column cut. History is much more accessible in the U. K. than in the U. S.
Where Cranmer and earlier Latimer and Ridley were burned right in the middle of Broad Street.
By the way, you can see many other photos of my pilgrimage to England here. They are roughly in reverse chronological order.