Joan Waste - Martyr (1556)

Version 1 On August 1, 1556, Draycot had Joan brought to the All Saints' Church, formerly All Hallows and, since 1925, Derby Cathedral. Here, Draycot read out the terms of the Act and declared Joan a heretic. "Joan Waste, having refused to abjure from such beliefs, is to be delivered over to the secular authorities who shall personally place her before the people in a high place where they will cause her to be really burnt in the said fire … that such punishment may strike fear into the minds of others ..." Joan was then stood in a cart so that all might see her, and taken along Brook Street to St Peter's Bridge and across Markeaton Brook, the town's western boundary. The way then led up St Peter's Street and what is now Babington Lane, passing the County Jail and the Free School, and along the Burton high road to the hollow below the high-set windmill (hence Mill Hill Lane). Some of those condemned had their anguish eased by dampening the faggots so that smoke, rather than flame, killed them. Others had pouches of gunpowder secured to them to speed their passage. Joan was allowed no such easing and yet was said to be still lifting up her voice to praise God as the flames rose about her. Version 2 This poor, honest woman, blind from her birth, and unmarried, aged twenty-two, was of the parish of Allhallows, Derby. Her father was a barber, and also made ropes for a living: in which she assisted him, and also learned to knit several articles of apparel. Refusing to communicate with those who maintained doctrines contrary to those she had learned in the days of the pious Edward, she was called before Dr. Draicot, the chancellor of Bishop Blaine, and Peter Finch, official of Derby. With sophisitcal arguments and threats they endeavoured to confound the poor girl; but she proffered to yield to the bishop's doctrine, if he would answer for her at the Day of Judgment, (as pious Dr Taylor had done in his sermons) that his belief of the real presence of the Sacrament was true. The bishop at first answered that he would; but Dr Draicot reminding him that he might not in any way answer for a heretic, he withdrew his confirmation of his own tenets; and she replied that if their consciences would not permit them to answer at God's bar for that truth they wished her to subscribe to, she would answer no more questions. Sentence was then adjudged, and Dr Draicot appointed to preach her condemned sermon, which took place August 1, 1556, the day of her martyrdom. His fulminating discourse being finished, the poor, sightless object was taken to a place called Windmill Pit, near the town, where she for a time held her brother by the hand, and then prepared herself for the fire, calling upon the pitying multitude to pray with her, and upon Christ to have mercy upon her, until the glorious light of the everlasting Sun of righteousness beamed upon her departed spirit.

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