Whilst in England visiting family over the summer I found a local Sussex magazine with an article about the martyrdom of Ann Tree, Thomas Dungate and John Foreman who were burned at the stake in East Grinstead in July 1556. East Grinstead is about 25 miles south of London, and is today an affluent part of the commuter belt. I tracked down their memorial in St Swithun's Churchyard which is just off the high street - however due to budget cuts the town museum was closed when I visited and so didn't get to buy the booklet which a local author has written about their story. The inscription which runs across the three stones read:
“Beneath these stones are interred (as is believed) the ashes of Thomas Dungate, Anne Tree, and John Forman, who were burned to death in High St, East Grinstead, in 1556 for adherence to the Reformed Faith. FIDELES USQUE AD MORTEM”.
• the East Grinstead martyrs are mentioned here on the Lewes Bonfire Celebrations website (if you think Northern Ireland does bonfires well, you should see Lewes in November.)
• the local Council records their story on its website here
• a good summary here at the Tudor Stuff blog
Here's a version of the old hymn "Where the Soul of Man Never Dies" by English folk singer Kate Rusby. (Thanks to Bob Kelim for sending this to me a while ago). It seems apt to have an English female voice singing this song for this posting.
(NB: the brass plaque shown at the bottom is inside the parish church of nearby West Hoathly, and was installed in 1940. It is about a foot tall, and is a beautiful, simple depiction)