Cuthbert Mayne (1577)

There were two Cornish martyrs during this century, one a Protestant and one a Catholic. The Protestant was Agnes Prest who was from Launceston, but she was burned at the stake in Exeter in 1558 in the persecutions of Queen Mary. She was executed for speaking against transubstantiation and idols. The Catholic was Cuthbert Mayne who was executed in the Market Square in Launceston in1577. He was clearly a Catholic priest and probably teaching Catholicism and saying Mass (a crime in itself) but the five charges against him were not proved, but he was still found guilty. His case went before the Privy Council and then the Bench of Judges who were inclined towards leniency because of the flimsy case, but the Privy Council ordered his execution. He probably was guilty although there was no proof but he still did not deserve death.

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