Woodcut from John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563) of Cranmer’s death on March 21, 1556.
What we can learn from Thomas Cranmer on the 460th anniversary of his martyrdom
By C. Peter Molloy
IN HIS ACCOUNT of Thomas Cranmer’s martyrdom, John Foxe describes it as a ‘Foul and Rainy Day.’ Leading the mad processional from the Bocardo prison, at the doorstep of St. Michael’s to St. Mary’s was the Mayor and Aldermen of Oxford. Cranmer himself was escorted by two Dominican friars. Perhaps out of habit, or out of some nervous desire to sanctify the procession, these two friars mumbled some psalms responsively to each other. Upon entering St. Mary’s they escorted the beleaguered Cranmer to a stage under the pulpit and lead the congregation in the Nunc Dimmittis. And there before a packed church stood the former archbishop and primate of all England, in a bare and ragged gown, forced to listen