Ely's Martyrs

On a small corner of garden wall between some cottages and Ely Cathedral is a small plaque. One has to bend down and approach in order to read the writing thereon. William Wolsey, a Constable, and Robert Pygot, a painter and builder, were burnt to death for denying transubstantiation (the Roman Catholic dogma that the communion bread literally turns into Christ’s flesh and is re-offered as a sacrifice for sins). Ely’s Cathedral Chancellor had warned Wolsey “meddle no further with the Scriptures”, which he refused. Had they recanted, blended in, held their tongues, they might have escaped with their lives, if not their integrity. That same day, 16th October 1555, Bishops Latimer and Ridley suffered the same fate down in Oxford.

And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 11.