Lewes Martyrs

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The Lewes Martyrs were a group of 17 Protestants who were burned at the stake in Lewes, East Sussex, England between 1555 and 1557. These executions were part of the Marian persecutions of Protestants during the reign of Mary I.

On 6 June 1556, Thomas Harland of Woodmancote, Near Henfield, West Sussex , carpenter, John Oswald (or Oseward) of Woodmancote, Near Henfield, West Sussex husbandman, Thomas Reed of Ardingly, Sussex and Thomas Avington (or Euington) of Ardingly, Sussex, turner were burnt. [1][2][3]

Richard Woodman and 9 other people were burned together in Lewes on 22 June 1557, on the orders of Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London — the largest single bonfire of people that ever took place in England.[4][5]

Together with the Gunpowder Plot, the Lewes Martyrs are commemorated annually on or around 5 November by the Bonfire Societies of Lewes and surrounding towns and villages.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Woodmancote Martyrs". Acutting.co.uk. 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  2. ^ Foxe's Book of Martyrs: 343: Other Martyrs, June 1556. Exclassics.com. Retrieved on 2013-05-24
  3. ^ Foxe's Book of Martyrs: 370: Persecution in Lichfield and Chichester. Exclassics.com. Retrieved on 2013-05-24
  4. ^ Foxe's Book of Martyrs: 360. Richard Woodman and nine others exclassics.com. Retrieved on 2016-11-12
  5. ^ BBC - Legacies - Myths and Legends - England - Surrey and Sussex - Remember remember... bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 2016-11-12
  6. ^ Lewes Bonfire Celebrations lewesbonfirecelebrations.com. Retrieved on 2016-11-12