The death of Thomas Cranmer at the stake, burnt for heresy in 1556, with Queen Mary looking on. Etching.
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Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), the first Protestant archbishop of Canterbury (1533-1556), adviser to the English kings Henry VII and Edward VI. As archbishop, he put the English Bible in parish churches, drew up the Book of Common Prayer, and composed a litany that remains in use today. Denounced for promoting Protestantism by the Catholic Mary I, he was convicted of heresy and burned at the stake, but not after withdrawing his recantations. Thrusting the hand that had signed the recantations into the flames and holding it there until the end, he made an unforgettable impression on all present, quite the opposite of what Mary had intended
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