Hebrews 11:13, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
Anne Askew came to the knowledge of salvation through reading the Scriptures. She loved to meditate often on the Word of God and soon came to see that many Roman Catholic teachings were false. Anne was not one to be a secret disciple! Her husband disowned her and shortly thereafter she went to London. She was a keen evangelist, distributing books and the Bible. She was arrested for her opposition to the Mass and purgatory. Initially released, but continuing her evangelism she was soon sent to the Tower of London. There she was placed on the rack. Though painfully tortured and ceaselessly questioned she never denied her faith and refused to implicate others.
“I sat two long hours arguing with the Lord Chancellor, upon the bare floor… With many flattering words, he tried to persuade me to leave my opinion… I said that I would rather die than break my faith.”
Anne was martyred this day (16th July) 1546 at 25 years of age. She had to be carried to the stake for she could not walk. The cruel torture had left her crippled. She was unable even to stand on the pile. A small chair was set thereon and she was tied by ankles, wrist, chest and neck to the stake where she sat. The crowd was so great the people had to be forced back before the fire could be lit. Before the fire was applied her torturer Thomas Wriothesley cried out that she could still recant and be pardoned. Anne replied that she ‘came not hither to deny my Lord and Master!’.
“I would sooner read five lines of the Bible than hear five masses in the ‘church.’” (Anne Askew)