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Review

The noble martyrs of Kent

By M J Hyde
July 2009 | Review by Paul Relf
  • Publisher: Protestant Alliance
  • Pages: 72
  • Price: 3.50

This is a reprint of a book first published in 1924. It makes the reader aware of the faithful and courageous stand for the truth that cost men and women their lives, particularly in the reign of Mary Tudor, queen of England between 1553 and 1558.

The book goes through the towns and villages of Kent giving an account of the stand taken by Protestant martyrs; the persecution they suffered and ultimately their martyrdom for standing for Christ and his gospel.

They stood against the errors of the Roman Catholic Church, which was imposing itself on the nation at that time. Each chapter helpfully enables the reader to consider a particular locality and trace any memorial there. The chapters are brief, but useful for reference, as well as being interesting in what they describe.

Three things are striking. First, there is the strength of the martyrs’ convictions. Even though they knew that they would face being humiliated and ultimately burnt at the stake, they would not compromise. They loved their Saviour and the Word of God and would not admit anything that was contrary to that Word.

Second, from these accounts we see the peace with which these martyrs met their death. Their hope was not in this life but in the glory to come. Third, the men and women came from varied backgrounds.

Some were bishops (Thomas Cranmer and Nicholas Ridley are included), but there was also a bricklayer, a baker, a fisherman, a weaver, a miller and others. Women too were martyred, including Elizabeth Lewis, a blind eighteen-year-old orphan at Maidstone. Some were rich and some poor, but all earnestly contended for the faith.

We need to be reminded of these heroic men and women as we face 21st century issues of political correctness and secularism, and the resultant temptations to compromise our discipleship.

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