Robert Farrar (1555)

This worthy and learned prelate, the bishop of St. David's in Wales, having in the former reign, as well as since the accession of Mary, been remarkably zealous to promoting the reformed doctrines, and exploding the errors of popish idolatry, was summoned, among others, before the persecuting bishop of Winchester, and other commissioners set apart for the abominable work of devastation and massacre. His principal accusers and persecutors, on a charge of praemunire in the reign of Edward VI. were George Constantine Walter, his servant; Thomas Young, chanter of the cathedral, afterwards bishop of Bangor, &c. Dr Farrar ably replied to the copies of information laid against him, consisting of fifty-six articles. The whole process of this trial was long and tedious. Delay succeeded delay, and after that Dr Farrar had been long unjustly detained in custody under sureties, in the reign of king Edward, because he had been promoted by the Duke of Somerset, whence after his fall he found fewer friends to support him against such as wanted his bishopric by the coming in of queen Mary, he was accused and examined not for any matter of praemunire, but for his faith and doctrine; for which he was called before the Bishop of Winchester with bishop Hooper, Mr Rogers, Mr Bradford, Mr Saunders and others, Feb. 4, 1555; on which day he would also with them have been condemned, but his condemnation was deferred, and he sent to prison again, where he continued till Feb. 14, and then was sent into Wales to receive sentence. He was six times brought up before Henry Morgan, bishop of St. David's, who demanded if he would abjure; from which he zealously dissented, and appealed to cardinal Pole; notwithstanding which, the bishop, proceeding in his rage, pronounced him a heretic excommunicate and surrendered him to the secular power. Dr Farrar, being condemned and degraded, was not long after brought to the place of execution in the town of Carmarthen, in the market-place of which, on the south side of the market-cross, March 30, 1555, being Saturday next before Passion-Sunday, he most constantly sustained the torments of the fire. Concerning his constancy, it is said that one Richard Jones, a knight's son, coming to Dr Farrar a little before his death, seemed to lament the painfulness of the death he had to suffer; to whom the bishop answered, That if he saw him once stir in the pains of his burning, he ought then give no credit to his doctrine; and as he said, so did he maintain his promise, patiently standing without emotion, till one Richard Gravell with a staff struck him down.

From Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

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