Colchester Martyrs

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The Colchester Martyrs were 16th-century English Protestant martyrs. They were executed for heresy in Colchester, Essex, during the reigns of Henry VIII and Mary I. Their story is recorded in Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

1545 or 1546[edit]

"[O]ne Henry" and his servant were burned at the stake.[1]

29 March 1555[edit]

John Lawrence, a priest and former Blackfriar at Sudbury, Suffolk[2] was burned at the stake.[3]

14 June 1555[edit]

Nicholas Chamberlain (or Chamberlaine), a weaver from Coggeshall, Essex was burned at the stake.[4][5]

28 April 1556[edit]

Christopher Lister, a husbandman from Dagenham, Essex, John Mace, an apothecary from Colchester, Essex, John Spencer, a weaver from Colchester, Essex, Simon Joyne, a sawyer, Richard Nicol, a weaver from Colchester, Essex and John Hamond, a tanner from Colchester, Essex were burned at the stake.[4][6]

2 August 1557[edit]

William Bongeor, Thomas Benhote, William Purchase, Agnes Silverside, Helen Ewring, Elizabeth Folk, William Munt, John Johnson, Alice Munt and Rose Allen were taken to Colchester Castle by Edmund Tyrrel and were burned at the stake.[7]

17 September 1557[edit]

Agnes Bongeor, wife of Richard Bongeor and Margaret Thurston/Widow Thurston were burned at the stake[8][4]

26 May 1558[edit]

William Harris, Richard Day and Christian George (female) were burned at the stake.[4][9]


A monument to these victims of the Marian persecutions is in St Peter's Church on North Hill;[10] another is in the Colchester Town Hall.[11]