The History of Leith

June 19, 2006

Henry VIII Demanded Acknowledgment of His Supremacy

When Henry VIII of England broke with Rome, he demanded that the leading individuals of his realm acknowledge his supremacy over the Church of England. In 1535 some Carthusian monks at the London Charterhouse, being Catholics, refused for reasons of conscience. Among them was Sebastian Newdigate. With Humphrey Middlemore and William Exmew, he was arrested.

Newdigate’s case stands out because he had once been a privy counselor of Henry VIII. Henry felt enough affection for him to personally visit him in prison with rich offers and appeals to conform. Newdigate rejected these offers in spite of being chained by his neck in a standing position for two weeks. On June 11, he was brought before the council with two other Carthusians and urged to agree to the King’s supremacy. All three refused and were sent to the tower. Henry again visited Newdigate but Sebastian held true to his views.

Newdigate, Middlemore and Exmew were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn 471 years ago on this day, June 19, 1535. This was a particularly cruel form of death, meted out to traitors. A number of other Carthusians were also executed at various times that year.

Source-Traitor’s Death; ChiNotes; for Monday, June 19

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