Coventry Martyrs (1512-1522)

Joan Ward (or Washingby), who had been a Lollard, for 20 years, but had also previously abjured (about 1495) in Maidstone. She was burnt at Coventry on 12 March 1512, though there is some dispute about the date. The monument has 1510 (it was erected to mark the 400th anniversary of her death), the mosaic has 1511, and Mozley has 1512.

Master Archer (a shoemaker), Thomas Bond (a shoemaker), Master Hawkins (a shoemaker or skinner), Robert Hockett, or Hatchet, or Hatchets (a shoemaker or leather-dresser), Thomas Lansdail or Lansdale (a hosier) and Master Wrigsham (a glover) were all burned on 4 April 1520. The monument gives a date of 1519 for these deaths.

A widow, Mistress Smith, was due to be discharged when a document was discovered in her sleeve, containing (in English) the Lord?s Prayer, Ten Commandments and Apostles' Creed. For this, she was immediately condemned and burnt with the others. The memorial names her 'Mistress Lansdail (or Smith)'.

Robert Silkeby (or Silkby or Silkesby) was burnt on 13 January 1522, having previously escaped after being apprehended with those burned in 1520. He appears to have acted as librarian to the group, keeping tracts, English scripture portions, commentaries and mystical writings on their behalf.

Additional Information

The site of the burnings is difficult to assess. The library has not been able to help much, except that the place was called Park Hollows.

Most burnings took place outside the town walls, so it is logical to assume that these took place in a hollow inside a park. Old maps show a park outside the southern walls and the road Parkside is a road outside the walls, but inside the park and there are a few stones of the old wall in the street.

Having driven around the area the obvious place seems to be close to the roundabout on Deasy Road because the ground slopes down from several sides to form a sort of hollow there.