EXECUTION OF THE DAY
According to Oleg Loginov.
THE EXECUTION OF ANNE ASKEW
Anne Askew is one of the first poets to write in English, and a Protestant martyr
Her father, a wealthy landowner, married Ann at the age of 15 to Thomas Kyme for money. Ann was a devout Protestant, she read the Bible, memorized passages and remained faithful to Protestantism all her life. Ann’s husband was a Catholic and it was hard for them to get along together. Anne gave birth to two children, but at the same time became the first Englishwoman to demand a divorce (as an innocent party based on the Bible). She did not get a divorce, but her husband kicked her out of the house for her religious beliefs. She went to London, where she became a preacher.
Frank Marsden Lea. «Ann Askew»
In March 1545, by decree of her husband, Anne was arrested and taken back to Lincolnshire. Thomas demanded that she stay at home, but Anne ran away from him and returned to London to continue preaching. This was a fatal step for her. On March 10, 1545, Anne Askew was arrested again on charges of heresy.
Anne Askew is also believed to be the only woman who was officially tortured in the Tower. In this castle, mostly aristocrats were kept and according to the laws of that time, the use of torture was prohibited to women. In the TV series «The Tudors», when Henry VIII was informed that Askew was being tortured, he allowed the execution, arguing that she was a heretic, which meant that she was a servant of the devil, who could take various guises, both men and women.
Ann Askew’s torture scene in the TV series «The Tudors»
Ann was tortured only once. But how! First, she was ordered to take off all her clothes except her undershirt, then tied to a rack. She lost consciousness from the pain more than once while she was stretched, she was brought to her senses and began to be tortured again. Two of the interrogators could not stand this sight and left, but the remaining two continued the torture. Askew’s screams were heard in the garden near the White Tower, where the wife and daughter of the lieutenant of the Tower, Sir Anthony Knevet, were walking. At that time, after leaving the torture chamber, he went to the king to ask him to stop bullying Ann. Meanwhile, the executioners, led by Chancellor Sir Thomas Riotesley, twisted the handles on the rack so hard that Anne was torn apart, her shoulders and hips broke out of their joints, and her elbows and knees were dislocated. After the end of the torture, Ann could no longer walk on her own, the joints of her arms and legs were broken, and she was carried back to the cell. However, Askew never gave any names.
On July 16, 1546, at the age of 26, Anne Askew was burned at the stake in Smithfield. She was brought to the place of execution, so she herself could not go after the torture. She was wearing only the shirt in which she was tortured. Ann was dragged from the stretcher to a post on which a small seat was fixed for her. Before the execution, the prisoners were given one last chance to be pardoned. The bishop went up to them and began to preach. Anne expressed no remorse. Because of her disobedience and stubbornness, she was burned alive, and not strangled before execution, as was sometimes done with the condemned. Those who watched what was happening said that Ann did not scream until the fire reached her chest. The execution lasted about an hour, but Askew lost consciousness after 15 minutes.
As the fire approached the feet of the Protestants, a light rain began to fall, and there was a crackle of thunder. It was noticed that the sky over Smithfield changed color. People sympathizing with the executed decided that heaven had opened to receive these blessed martyrs and proclaim «God’s great displeasure with such a tyrannical murder of innocent people.»
Ann wrote a book about her trials and her faith, which after her death was published by John Bale under the title «Trials». And one of her famous poems is called «How to burn a woman».
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*Texts from Wikipedia and other Internet resources were used.
*Translated using an electronic dictionary. The original text in Russian and much more on the criminal topic can be selected on the main page of the site — http://crimerecords.info/