Bradford, John

Bradford, John an English divine and martyr, was born at Manchester soon after the accession of Henry VIII. He received a good education, and about 1547 began to study in the Temple, intending to pursue the law as a profession, but in 1548 he changed his plan, proceeded to Cambridge, and entered at Catharine Hall. In 1552 he received the appointment of chaplain to Edward VI. He held this post only a short time, the king's death following soon after. Upon Mary's accession, he, together with all those who espoused the cause of the Reformation, fell into disgrace, and, upon a trumped-up charge of raising a tumult at Paul's Cross, he was committed to the Tower. Here he remained, but not in strict confinement, until 1554, when he was removed to Southwark, and examined before Gardiner, Bonner, and some others. Condemned to death, his life was for some time spared, under the hope that he might be won over to the Roman doctrines. This, however, he steadily refused to listen to, preferring death to a dishonest profession. He was cruelly burned at Smithfield, July 1, 1555, as a heretic, together with John Lyefe. His writings, edited by Townsend, have been republished by the "Parker Society" (Camb. 1848, 8vo). See also Stevens, Memoirs of the Life and Martyrdom of Bradford (Lond. 1832, 8vo); Burnet, Hist. of Reformation, ii, 379, 488.

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