EXECUTIONS under all the Tudors

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The Headsman's axe & block at the Tower
The Tower of London
The Tower of London & Traitors Gate
Tower of London - Tower Green Memorial
Tower Green -
the site of the scaffold

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tyburn gallows
The site of
Tyburn gallows in Westminster is
marked by this
small paving stone.

Henry VIIIn the reign of King Henry VII (1485-1509):

-Sir William Stanley, 1495, executed for treason. Fought several battles in the War of the Roses, but was finally beheaded for his support of Perkin Warbeck. Leaders of the First Cornish Rebellion:

-Sir James Tuchet, 1497. 7th Baron Audley, beheaded at Tower Hill

-Michael An Gof, 1497, hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

-Thomas Flamank, 1497, hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.
Perkin Warbeck-Perkin Warbeck, 1499. An impostor who pretended to be the son of King Edward IV (Richard, Duke of York) and rightful heir to the throne. Because of his resemblance to Edward IV, it is thought he may have been his illegitimate son. He was drawn on a hurdle to obtain a confession and hanged at Tyburn. -Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, 7th Earl of Salisbury, 1499. Beheaded at age 24 because of his rival claim to the throne. He was the younger brother of Margaret Pole, who was later executed by Henry VIII.

Henry VIIIIn the reign of King Henry VIII (1509-1547):

The exact figure may never be known, but according to Raphael Holinshed, an English Chronicler who died in 1580, the number of executions in this 38 year reign amounted to 72,000. (Although this is considered to be an exaggeration as it is hard to imagine this would have been tolerated by the people)
-Edmund Dudley, 1510.
-Richard Empson, 1510.

Both Dudley & Empson were unpopular ministers under Henry VII. They were both Beheaded for the crime of "constructive" treason on Tower Hill.

Note - “Constructive” in this sense means “treated as”. Constructive treason wasn’t “real” treason but a vaguely defined category of conduct that the court felt should be “treated as” treason. It was the perfect instrument of oppression, being virtually whatever the authorities wanted it to be.
-Knight, Alfred H. "The Life of the Law"
-Edmund de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk,

1513 Beheaded due to being a Yorkist claimant to the throne through the Plantagenets.

His Plantagenet cousin had been held prisoner in the Tower since Henry VII's reign. A benign spirit, locked away for most of his life, Edmund was no threat to anyone. But Henry executed him to remind his subjects that, though he would be in France, any challenge to his authority would be met with grave displeasure.
Edward Stafford-Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, 1521.

Fell out with the King over his attentions to his sister, Anne Stafford. With his royal blood, he became leader of disaffected nobles. It is thought that Wolsey (a low-born man) was behind the trumped up charges. Beheaded.
The following executions were all due to their opposition of the Henrician reformation:

-Elizabeth Barton, "The Nun of Kent" or the "Holy Maid of Kent", 1534. A visionary who protested against the King's divorce. After she confessed she had fabricated her revelations, she was charged with treason & hanged at Tyburn Gallows.

-Dr. Edward Bocking, 1534. A Canterbury Benedictine monk & Elizabeth Barton's confessor.

-Father Richard Master, 1534.
-Father Hugh Rich, 1534.
-Father John Dering, 1534.
-Father Henry Gold, 1534.
-Father Richard Risby, 1534.
All above hanged at Tyburn for their complicity in the Nun of Kent's affair.
-John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, 1535. Beheaded for High Treason on Tower Hill, because he denied the King as supreme head of the church. Canonized.
Thomas More
-Sir Thomas More, 1535.
Beheaded for High Treason on Tower Hill for denying the validity of the Act of Succession & the Oath of Supremacy. Canonized.
The following executions are commonly thought to be trumped up charges for the dual reasons of a King ridding himself of a wife & a plot masterminded by Thomas Cromwell [see Historian Eric Ive's Biography, "The Life & Death of Anne Boleyn" Page 319 "The Coup, April-May 1536"]:

The Tudors - List of Executions - The Tudors Wiki-Anne Boleyn, 1536. Beheaded on Tower Green (site of private executions, a dubious rare honor) by sword for High Treason due to incest and adultery, despite the fact that her marriage to the King had been annulled.

-George Boleyn, 1536. Anne's brother.
Charged with incest & adultery with the queen. Beheaded on Tower Hill.
-Henry Norris, 1536. Despite being a close friend of Henry's, had made an enemy in Thomas Cromwell. Beheaded on Tower Hill.

-William Brereton, 1536. Cromwell probably added Brereton to the plot against Anne in order to end the troubles Brereton was causing in the Welsh Marches, and to reorganise (and centralise) the local government of this area. Beheaded on Tower Hill.

-Francis Weston, 1536. Accused of Treason, plotting to kill the King, adultery with the queen & ******. Beheaded on Tower Hill.

-Mark Smeaton, 1536.The only one to admit his guilt, it is thought he did so after torture. He was sentenced to beheading instead of the usual hanging, drawing & quartering assigned to commoners.
The following executions were all tied to the Pilgrimage of Grace, a rebellion against the dissolution of the monasteries & the Henrician Reformation :

-Robert Aske, 1537. Led the rebellion. Hanged outside the Tower.
-Thomas Kendell, 1537. Vicar of Louth & spiritual leader of the Pilgrimage of Grace.
-Sir Robert Constable, 1537. An insurgent leader of the rebellion. Hanged at Hull. *In the series, the character's name was John Constable
-Thomas Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, 1537. Governor of Ireland, renounced his allegiance to Henry & attacked Dublin castle. He and his five uncles were hanged, drawn & quartered at Tyburn.

- John Lambert, November 22, 1538. A reformer who had a theological dispute with a London pastor. His death marks a turning point in the early process of the English Reformation and with this man's blood King Henry VIII etched his warning against doctrinal liberality. John Foxe in his Book of Martyrs suggested that Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex who had condemned him asked his pardon before he was consigned to the flames. Burned for heresy at Smithfield.
- Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter, 1539. Henry's cousin & a rival of Thomas Cromwell, who convinced Henry that he was part of the Exeter Conspiracy with little evidence. Beheaded on Tower Hill. Thomas Cromwell-Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex,
July 28, 1540.
Ironically had made many enemies most notably Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, who pressed for his arrest after the Anne of Cleves debacle. Attainted for Heresy and treason. He was privately executed at the Tower.There is a legend, without much factual evidence, that Henry VIII intentionally chose an inexperienced executioner, a teenager who made three attempts before he succeeded. After execution, his head was boiled and then set upon a spike on London Bridge facing away from the City of London
The following were Reformists executed for heresy under "The Six Articles":

-Dr. Robert Barnes, July 30, 1540. Burned at the stake. Friend of Martin Luther
-Thomas Garret, July 30, 1540 hanged
-William Jerome, July 30, 1540 hanged
The following were Catholics executed for denying royal supremacy; all were hanged, drawn and quartered in Smithfield:

-Thomas Abel, July 30, 1540
-Richard Featherstone, July 30, 1540. Former chaplain of Katherine of Aragon and tutor to Mary
-Edward Powel, July 30, 1540
-Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury, 1541. Last of the Plantagenets. - her execution was truly shocking. According to some accounts, the countess, who was 67 years old, frail and ill, was dragged to the block, but refused to lay her head on it, having to be forced down. As she struggled, the inexperienced executioner's first blow made a gash in her shoulder rather than her neck. Several additional blows were required to complete the execution. Beheaded on Tower Green.

Many felt she was executed solely because Henry couldn't reach her son Cardinal Reginald Pole, who, from the safety of the continent, wrote pamphlets denouncing Henry's policies toward the Church in Rome, and also his annulment of his marriage to Queen Katherine of Aragon. Enraged by this, but unable to punish the Cardinal himself, Henry killed his mother and brother instead.
The following executions can be attributed to a Protestant faction's attack on the Catholic Howard faction, plus the indiscretions of a very young queen:

katherine Howard- Katherine Howard, February 1542. Attainted for High Treason for adultery. Beheaded on Tower Green.

- Jane Boleyn, February 1542. Widow of George Boleyn.She had gone mad, so Henry had the law changed so that an insane person could be executed. Beheaded on Tower Green.

- Thomas Culpepper, December 1541. Beheaded at Tyburn

- Francis Dereham, December 1541. Hanged drawn & quartered at Tyburn.
-Anne Askew, 1546. A member of the Reformed Church, a friend and admirer of Queen Catherine Parr, she was arrested and brought to the Tower of London, where she was tortured on the rack by Richard Rich in hopes of implicating the queen. She was burned as a heretic at Smithfield.
Henry Howard-Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, 1547. Son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, who was also arrested with his son, but escaped death because Henry died the day his execution was scheduled. Beheaded on Tower Hill.

Edward VIIn the reign of Edward VI (1547-1553):

Leaders of the Prayer Book Rebellion:

-Sir Humphrey Arundell, 1549, Catholic nobleman, was a leader the Prayer Book Rebellion in Cornwall (over 5,500 Cornish were slaughtered by the King's forces), hanged at Tyburn.

-John Winslade, 1549, hanged at Tyburn.

-Henry Bray, 1549, hanged at Tyburn.
Tudor List of Executions - The Tudors Wiki-Edward Seymour, Earl of Somerset, 1552, executed for Treason.

Thomas Seymour
-Thomas Seymour, 1549, executed for treason
Leaders of Kett's Rebellion:

- Robert "Ben" Kett, 1549, hanged at Norwich Castle

-William Kett 1549, hanged at Wymondham Abbey

Mary IIn the reign of Mary I (1553-1558):

Again, it is unknown exactly how many were executed during this 4½ year reign, but John Foxe, who wrote The Book of Martyrs & died in 1587, estimated 284.

The following were found guilty of treason for their role in usurping Mary I with Lady Jane Grey:

-John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, 1553

- Sir John Gates, 1553, beheaded at Tower Hill

- Sir Thomas Palmer, 1554
-John Bradford, 1555, executed under the Marian Persecutions

-John Rogers, 1555, executed under the Marian Persecutions.

-John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester, 1555, executed under the Marian Persecutions.

-Hugh Latimer, 1555

-Nicolas Ridley, 1555

- William Hunter, 1555, 19 years old when he was burned alive for refusing to believe the concept of transubstantiation

- Bishop Robert Ferrar, 1555

- Robert Samuel, 1555
The following were executed as a result of Wyatt's Rebellion:

- Thomas Wyatt the Younger, 1554, organized a revolt to stop Queen Mary's marriage to Prince Phillip of Spain and to replace Mary with her sister Elizabeth.

- Sir Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, 1554, father of Lady Jane, convicted of high treason for his role in the Wyatt Rebellion.

Execution of Lady Jane Grey-Lady Jane Grey, 1554, although she and her husband were granted the lesser sentence of imprisonment after her nine day reign, after the Wyatt Rebellion, Queen Mary decided she couldn't afford to keep both of them alive despite neither of them having been involved with Wyatt.

-Guilford Dudley, husband of Lady Jane and son of John Dudley, 1554
Thomas Cranmer- Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1556

- Agnes Potten, 1556

- Joan Trunfield, 1556

-<a class="external" href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/myths_legends/england/surrey_sussex/article_1.shtml" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Lewes 17</a>, 1557, all burned in Sussex during the Marian Persecutions.

- William Pikes, 1558

- Alexander Gooch, 1558

- Alice Driver, 1558

Elizabeth IIn the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603):

Elizabeth was excommunicated from the Catholic church in April of 1570. The intention of the excommunication was to let her Catholic subjects know that the church sanctioned overthrowing her. The religious tolerance Elizabeth showed in the first 11 years of her reign began to change, as more and more Catholics became involved in plots to usurp or murder her. There were about 30 people executed (most of them Catholic) after the excommunication.
Papal documents indicate that some 300 Catholics were martyred from the time Elizabeth was born until the middle of the reign of Charles II. But that is about twice as long as the 45 years reign of Elizabeth.

- <a class="external" href="http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08462a.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">John Felton</a>, Aug 1570, Catholic martyr. His crime was posting the papal bull of excommunication in public.

-Thomas Plumtree, Jan 1571, Catholic martyr.

-Dr. John Story, June 1571, executed for high treason at <a class="external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyburn,_London" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tyburn, London">Tyburn</a> by being <a class="external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanged,_drawn_and_quartered" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Hanged, drawn and quartered">hanged, drawn and quartered</a> . Beatified in 1886 by Catholic church.
Tudor List of Executions - The Tudors Wiki-Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, June 1572, executed for role in attempt (Ridolfi Plot) to overthrow Elizabeth in favor of Mary, Queen of Scots.

- Thomas Percy, Aug 1572, Earl of Northumberland, beheaded for treason. He led the rising of the north. Beatified by the Catholic church.
- Cuthbert Mayne, 1577, Roman Catholic priest, "the queen never was nor ever shall be the head of the Church of England." - Edmund Campion, 1581, English Jesuit priest who rejected Anglicanism, executed as a traitor as Tyburn.
-Sir Francis Throckmorton, 1584, liaison between Mary, Queen of Scots and the Spanish Ambassador, after being tortured confessed a plot to kill Elizabeth and an invasion of England by Henry of Guise, executed for high treason. Francis was cousin to Bess Throckmorton, wife of Sir Walter Raleigh. Though of Catholic faith, the two were cousins of Queen Catherine Parr. Francis is featured in the movie Elizabeth: The Golden Age. - Margaret Clitherow, 1586, Roman Catholic who hid priests and secretly held mass in her home, was pressed to death in York. Canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul IV.
The following were executed for high treason for their role in the Babington Plot, were hanged and disemboweled at St. Giles Field, London:

-Sir Anthony Babington, 1586,
-John Ballard, 1586, English Jesuit priest who was depicted by Daniel Craig in the film "Elizabeth".
-Chidiock Tichborne, 1586
-Sir Thomas Salisbury, 1586
-Robert Barnewell, 1586
-John Savage, 1586
-Henry Donn, 1586

A second group was also executed, but was pardoned to hanging until dead and then disemboweled:
-Edward Habington, 1586
-Charles Tilney, 1586
-Edward Jones, 1586
-John Charnock, 1586
-John Travers, 1586
-Jerome Bellamy, 1586
-Robert Gage, 1586
Mary Queen of Scots-Mary, Queen of Scots, 1587, executed for treason, beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle.
The following were executed for helping Father William Watson escape from prison, all were hanged at Tyburn:

-Margaret Ward, 1588, canonized in 1970
-John Roche, 1588
- Edward Shelley, 1588
- Richard Martin, 1588
- Richard Flower, 1588
The following Catholic Priests were hanged, drawn and quartered for their connection to the Roman Jesuits, they were canonized in 1970:

-Edmund Gennings, 1591
-Swithun Wells, 1591
-Polydore Plasden, 1591
-John Penry, 1593, Puritan instigator charged with inciting rebellion. -Henry Abbot, 1597.
The following were executed for being implicated in a plot to kill the Queen by poison and conspiring against Don Antonio, pretender to the Portuguese throne. All were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn:

- Dr. Roderigo Lopez, 1594, a Portuguese Jew who fled to England to escape the Inquisition, became the Queen's chief physician, under threat of torture from Essex he admitted to planning to poison the Queen.
-Estaban Ferreira, 1594
- Senor Tinoco, 1594
Robert Deverux, 2nd Earl of Essex
The following were executed for their part in the Essex Rebellion:

-Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, 1601, executed for treason. Beheaded on Tower Green.
- Sir Christopher Blount, 1601
-Sir Charles Danvers, 1601
-Sir Gelli Meyrick, 1601
-Henry Cuffe, 1601

  • Panati's Extraordinary Endings of Practically Everything and Everybody, ISBN 0-06-096279-8, by Charles Panati.
  • Dark Justice: The History of Punishment and Torture, ISBN 0-765-199106. by Karen Farrington