Askew, Anne

Askew, Anne (otherwise Ascough or Ascue), born in 1521, was second daughter of Sir Wm. Askew, of Lincolnshire. By the study of the Scriptures she became a convert to the opinions of the Reformers, at which her husband, one Kyme, a papist, turned her out of doors. She came up to London to sue for a separation, and appears to have attracted the favorable notice of some ladies high at court. She was soon accused of heresy and committed to prison. Being examined before the Bishop of London and others, she is said to have replied boldly to the lord-mayor's question, "Whether the priests cannot make the body of Christ?" "I have read that God made man; but that man can make God I never yet read" (Strype, Memorials, i, 387). Yet it is said by Burnet that "after much pains she set her hand to a recantation, by which she acknowledged that the natural body of Christ was present in the sacrament after the consecration, whether the priest were a good or an ill man; and that, whether it was presently consumed or reserved in the pix, it was the true body of Christ" (Hist. of Reformation, bk. iii). Her recantation, however, was not effectual, for she was soon apprehended again and committed to Newgate, where she was again strictly questioned as to what ladies at court had shown her favor and encouragement. She was placed on the rack and cruelly tortured in the sight, and, as Fox says, by the hand of the Lord Chancellor Wriothesly, whose eagerness in this matter is ascribed to his desire to gain some ground of offence against the Duchess of Suffolk, the Countess of Hertford, or some other ladies. But her patience and fortitude could not be shaken. She was burnt with four others at the stake in Smithfield, July 16, 1546. She wrote several works, one of which is entitled Examinationes pice.-Penny Cyclop. s.v.; :Fox, Book of Martyrs, p. 600-614; Burnet, Hist. of Reformation, bk. i, p. 547.

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