John Bradford's Shirt

In Manchester Cathedral, a church led by a most unsatisfactory Anglican bishop, is a memorial to a most impressive gentleman, born just 4 and a half miles to the north. John Bradford was a Protestant martyr who was killed under Bloody Mary at London’s infamous Smithfield. Tied to a stake and ignited, he was burnt to a crisp for the sake of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Interestingly, a Mrs. Marlet had made him a Burning Shirt or Shirt of Flame. At first, I thought this a garment laced with gunpowder or alcohol which might mercifully hasten death and lessen pain. In fact it was in the fashion of a contemporary wedding shirt, which any young bridegroom might have donned. The martyr was going home to his Beloved, and their union was soon to take place. After putting on the Shirt of Flame, he said to John Leaf, his fellow victim:

"Be of good comfort brother; for we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night!”

How right he was.