Michael Dunning

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Michael Dunning (d.1558[1]) was Chancellor of the Diocese of Norwich from 1554 under Mary Tudor, and with John Hopton, Bishop of Norwich, was responsible for the burning of 31 heretics.[2][3] John Foxe characterised Dunning as the "bloody chancellor."[4]


He graduated Bachelor of Civil Law at the University of Cambridge in 1541, becoming Doctor in 1555. He was rector of Knapwell, Cambridgeshire in 1546; and then of Gissing, Norfolk from 1549 to 1554. After his term as the "bloody chancellor" he was in 1558 made Archdeacon of Bedford, but was removed from the post later the same year.[5]

Among those executed by Dunning and Hopton were:

  • Cicely Ormes, wife of a weaver
  • Thomas Cobbe, butcher of Haverhill, Roger Coe, and James Abbes
  • Simon Miller, of the town of Lynn
  • Elizabeth Cooper, wife of a pewterer


  1. ^ Athenae Cantabrigienses: 1500-1585 p203 ..1549, and was constituted joint vicar-general and official principal of the diocese of Norwich 1554. He commenced LL.D. 1555, was principal of S. Nicholas' hostel in, if not before 1555, and on 4 Nov. 1557 was collated to the prebend
  2. ^ Muriel C. McClendon The quiet Reformation: magistrates and the emergence of ... Page 175 - 1999 "Upon hearing Ormes's remark, Corbet took her and turned her over the Chancellor of Norwich diocese, Michael Dunning.64 Dunning examined her, ...That woman was Cicely Ormes, the wife of a worsted weaver from St. Lawrence's parish in Norwich. ... Dunning offered Ormes her freedom "if she would go to the church and keep her tongue," but she refused, "for God would surely plague
  3. ^ The church of Mary Tudor Page 137 Eamon Duffy, D. M. Loades - 2006 "Foremost among those who enforced Marian policies in Norwich were John Hopton and his chancellor Michael Dunning. In Foxe's opinion they were ... However, Norwich was a diocese in which there was a lot of resistance to the Marian restoration, and it may have been his notorious chancellor, Michael Dunning, who was mainly responsible for the 31 burnings which took place between the ."
  4. ^ John Foxe The Acts and Monuments of the Church Containing the History and ... - Page 814 M. Hobart Seymour - 2004 "Thomat Cob, Martyr. Over and besides these martyrs, in the same year, on the 12th of August, Thomas Cob, of Haverhill, butcher, was also condemned, being brought before and examined by Michael Dunning, the bloody chancellor of Norwich .
  5. ^ "Dunning, Michael (DNN540M)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 

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