Posts Tagged “Chester Cathedral”
Special thanks to Tim Vince and the folks at Revelation TV and the Lancashire County Council Corporate Communications Team (Lancaster Castle) the first ever documentary on “Martyr George Marsh” will be given a Network premier this month. George Marsh’s story is recorded for us in the “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” and the documentary is scheduled for a midnight showing on the evening of Monday 9th, that is technically Tuesday 10th June, and again at 12: 30 am on Saturday 14th June 2014.
- Details are as follows;
- Tuesday 10th June 2014 at 12 am.
- Saturday 14th June at 12: 30 pm.
Thanks everybody. Praise the Lord!
On this day many years ago on 24th April 1555, George Marsh, Martyr was burned at the stake in West Chester for his testimony and faithfulness to the Word of God. This weekend, (Saturday 26th April) Protestants in Chester will gather in the afternoon for a public commemoration to Marsh outside the Town Hall and will walk to the site of his execution.
He was the only Protestant to be Martyred in the North of England and it was on this day so many years ago when this powerful, yet horrific event occurred.
In memory to him and to all the faithful Martyrs of Christ, I add this little tribute with my slightly more modern spelling of the original narrative, of which John Foxe had this to say;
“When the time and day appointed came that he should suffer: the Sheriffs of the City (whose names were Amry & Couper) with their officers and a great number of poor simple Barbers, with rusty Bills & Pole axe’s, went to the Northgate & there took out the said George Marsh, who came with them most humbly & meekly, with a lock upon his feet. And as he came upon the way towards the place of execution, some folks offered him money, & looked that he should have gone with a little purse in his hand (as the manner of felons was, accustomed in that City in times past, at their going to execution) to the end to gather money to give unto a Priest to say masses for them after their death, whereby they might (as they thought) be saved: but Marsh said he would not be troubled with meddling with money, but willed some good man to take the money, if the people were disposed to give any, and to give it unto the prisoners or poor people.
So he went all the way unto his death, with his book in his hand, looking upon the same, and many of the people said: this man goes not unto his death as a thief, or as one that deserves to die.
Now when he came to the place of execution without the City, near unto Spittle boughton, one Cawdrey, being then deputy of Chester, showed Marsh a writing under a great seal, saying that it was a pardon for him if he would recant. Where at Marsh answered, that he would gladly accept the same (and said farther, that he loved the Queen) but for as much as it tended to pluck him from God, he could not receive it upon that condition.
After that, he began to speak to the people showing the cause of his death, and would have exhorted them to stick unto Christ. Whereupon one of the Sheriffs said: George Marsh, we must have no sermonizing now. To whom he said, “Master, I cry you mercy” and so kneeling down made his Prayers, and then put of his clothes unto his shirt, and then was he chained unto the post, having a number of sticks under him, and a thing made like a firkin, with pitch and tar in the same over his head: and by reason that the fire was unskillfully made, and that the wind did drive the flame to and fro, he suffered great extremity in his death, which not withstanding he abode very patiently.
Wherein this in him is to be noted, that when as he had been a long time tormented in the fire without moving, having his flesh so broiled and puffed up that they which stood before him could not see the chain wherewith he was fastened, and therefore supposed no less but he had been dead, not withstanding suddenly he spread abroad his arms, saying “father of heaven have mercy upon me, and so yielded his spirit into the hands of the Lord.
Upon this, many of the people said that he was a Martyr, and died marvelously patiently and godly. Which thing caused the Bishop shortly after to make a Sermon in the Cathedral Church, and therein affirmed, that the said Marsh was an heretic, burnt like an heretic, and was a firebrand in hell.
In recompense of this his good and charitable Sermon, within short time after, the just judgement of GOD appeared upon the said Bishop: recompensing him in such wise, that not long after he turned up his heels and died.
Upon what cause his death was, I have not here precisely to pronounce, because the rumour and voice of the people is not always to be followed. Not withstanding such a report went in all men’s mouths, that he was burned of an harlot. Whereupon whether he died or no, I am not certain, neither dare lean too much upon public speech. Albeit this is certain, that when he was after ward searched being dead, by some of his secret friends & certain Aldermen for stopping the rumour of the people, this maidenly Priest and Bishop was found not to be free from certain appearance, which declared but small virginity in him, and that the rumour was not raised up altogether upon naught, among the people. But of this I will stay, & proceed no farther, not because more can not be said, but because I will not be so uncharitable in defacing these men, as they are cruel in condemning Gods servants to death.”
John Foxe. Acts and Monuments (1576)
George Marsh. 1515-1555. In Memoriam.
George Marsh, the Protestant Marty was burned alive at the stake in West Chester on April 24th 1555.
His story is told in ‘Acts and Monuments’ known as ‘The Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’ by John Foxe.
He was born in 1515 in Deane, Bolton and lived his early life upon a farm and married around 1540 at the age of 25. He and his wife had several children and upon her death around 1548-49, Marsh secured his children with their grandparents (a common practice in those days) and left Lancashire and went to Cambridge. There he studied the Bible and Reformed doctrine and soon became a Curate to Laurence Saunders. He is also said to have become employed by King Edward V1.
In 1553 King Edward V1 died and Mary 1 came to the throne. She imposed Roman Catholicism upon England and many Protestants were burned alive at the stake during her reign. Marsh planned to leave England for Germany and he returned to Lancashire.
Between January – February 1554 Marsh preached at the Parishes of Eccles, Bury, Bolton and Deane.
On 12th Marsh 1554, Master Barton of Smithills hall sent his servants to find George Marsh by order of the Earl of Derby. They search for him around Deane and Bolton. The following day, Marsh surrendered willingly at Smithills Hall and he was sent to Lathom House, near Ormskirk, where he stood trial accused of heresy before the 3rd Earl of Derby. Marsh was imprisoned at Lathom and was later sent to Lancaster Castle where he was imprisoned for around 8 months.
Around November/December 1554 he was taken to Chester with the Bishop of Chester Dr George Cotes and there he stood trial a number of times and was imprisoned at the Northgate. He was condemned a heretic and to be burned alive at the stake on 24th April 1555.
Marsh never recanted his faith in Jesus Christ as head of the Church, and the Word of God as the rule of Faith and practice. He would not deny justification by Faith alone or the Reformed/Biblical position concerning the Eucharist.
He died because he was loyal to the God of the Bible and His revealed Word.
A true man of Faith. A true Christian. And it was on this day so many years ago that his trial began.
Watch it now from 5Th November 2013
“Martyr George Marsh” A new documentary on Protestant preacher and martyr, George Marsh. Direct from the maker of “The Apostles at Paphos” is a powerful and touching story in many ways and is a story that England should ‘never forget’.
Starting in the year 1515 from the birthplace of George Marsh at Deane, Bolton in Lancashire, moving towards the later death of his wife and Marsh’s time studying Theology at Cambridge and working as a minister in London and Lincoln, the story moves towards the death of Protestant King Edward V1 in 1553 and the ascending of the Roman Catholic Mary 1 to the throne and her persecution of protestants that followed. The story tells how George Marsh returned to Lancashire to preach and see his family, where his presence caught the attention of the authorities and a charge was put out by the Earl of Derby, of Lathom House to Master Barton of Smithills hall, Bolton, to find George Marsh and charge him to appear trial before the Earl and his council. Marsh handed himself in at Smithills and was charged to appear before the Earl of Derby and he stood trial at Lathom House and was imprisoned at Lathom and was afterwards sent to Lancaster Castle where he was imprisoned for several months before being taken to Chester where he stood trial yet again and was condemned to death. He was burned alive at the stake on April 24th 1555 by order of the Bishop of Chester, Dr Cotes.
Two years in the making, the documentary ‘Martyr George Marsh’ has a unique structure and feel. The film is written, produced, directed and presented by Theologian (B.Th, Th.M) and Singer/Songwriter Simon Peter Sutherland (stage name: Shimeon).
Following the theme, Simon Peter begins his research at Chetham’s Library, Manchester and tells the story of George Marsh from historic sites at Deane, Deane Parish Church, Deane Clough, Smithills Hall, Lathom, Ormskirk Parish Church, Lancaster Castle and Chester Cathedral, the Northgate and Gallows hill.
The documentary bases its proof text upon the earliest account of George Marsh from the grand narrative contained in the earliest 16th century prints of “Acts and Monuments” (The Foxe’s book of Martyrs) by John Foxe. The oldest known narrative of the George Marsh story and an account published using the actual text of George Marsh himself. The research for the film has been done at and from the archives of Chetham’s Library, John Rylands Library and Bolton Central Library.
Simon Peter Sutherland has also composed and produced the soundtrack for the documentary and has also provided some traditional hymns as a backdrop.
In conclusion, Simon Peter Sutherland has produced a fine and well researched documentary, which in a time where many are concerned for the future of England, Simon draws upon the past, that a nation may never forget their own history, lest they find themselves condemned to repeat it.
The documentary is none profit and its release will include a free internet distribution.
Picture format: 1080i
Audio format: Stereo
Release date: 5 November 2013