Thomas Bilney

Thomas Bilney (c. 1495 – 19 August 1531) was an English martyr.

Education

Bilney was born in or after 1495 at or near Norwich. He was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, graduating LL.B. and taking holy orders in 1519. Finding no satisfaction in the mechanical system of the schoolmen, he turned his attention to the Greek edition of the New Testament published by Erasmus in 1516. During his reading in the Epistles, he was struck by the words of 1 Timothy 1:15, which in English reads, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am the chief." "Immediately", he records, "I felt a marvellous comfort and quietness, insomuch that my bruised bones lept for joy, Psal. 1. After this, the Scripture began to be more pleasant unto me than the honey or the honeycomb; wherein I learned that all my labours, my fasting and watching, all the redemption of masses and pardons, being done without truth in Christ, who alone saveth his people from their sins; these I say, I learned to be nothing else but even, as St. Augustine saith, a hasty and swift running out of the right way". The Scriptures now became his chief study, and his influence led other young Cambridge men to think along the same lines. Among his friends were Matthew Parker, the future Archbishop of Canterbury, and Hugh Latimer. Latimer, previously a strenuous conservative, was completely won over, and a warm friendship sprang up between him and Bilney. "By his confession", said Latimer, "I learned more than in twenty years before".

Preaching and imprisonment

In 1525 Bilney obtained a licence to preach throughout the diocese of Ely. He denounced saint and relic worship, together with pilgrimages to Walsingham and Canterbury, and refused to accept the mediation of the saints. The diocesan authorities raised no objection, for, despite his reforming views in these directions, he was to the last perfectly orthodox on the power of the Pope, the sacrifice of the Mass, the doctrine of transubstantiation and the authority of the church. But Cardinal Wolsey took a different view. In 1526 he appears to have summoned Bilney before him. On his taking an oath that he did not hold and would not disseminate the doctrines of Martin Luther, Bilney was dismissed. But in the following year serious objection was taken to a series of sermons preached by him in and near London, and he was dragged from the pulpit while preaching in St George's chapel, Ipswich, arrested and imprisoned in the Tower. Arraigned before Wolsey, Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, and several bishops in the chapter-house at Westminster, he was convicted of heresy, sentence being deferred while efforts were made to induce him to recant, which eventually he did.

Release, re-arrest and execution

After being kept for more than a year in the Tower, he was released in 1529, and went back to Cambridge. Here he was overcome with remorse for his apostasy, and after two years determined to preach again what he had held to be the truth. The churches being no longer open to him, he preached openly in the fields, finally arriving in Norwich, where the bishop, Richard Nix, caused him to be arrested. Articles were drawn up against him by Convocation, he was tried, degraded from his orders and handed over to the civil authorities to be burned. The sentence was carried out at Lollards Pit, Norwich on 19 August 1531. A parliamentary inquiry was threatened into this case, not because Parliament approved of Bilney's doctrine but because it was alleged that Bilney's execution had been obtained by the ecclesiastics without the proper authorization by the state. In 1534 Bishop Nix was condemned on this charge to the confiscation of his property. The significance of Bilney's execution lies in the fact that on essential points he was an orthodox Roman Catholic.

References

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Motto
Dieu et mon droit   (French)
"God and my right"
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No official anthem specific to England — the anthem of the United Kingdom is "God Save the Queen".
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martyr (Greek μάρτυς "witness") initially signified a witness in the forensic sense, a person called to bear witness in legal proceedings. With this meaning it was used in the secular sphere as well as in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of
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Norwich (pronounced IPA: /ˈnɒrɪdʒ/) is a city in East Anglia, in Eastern England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk.
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Trinity Hall

                     
College name College of Scholars of the Holy Trinity of Norwich
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Established 1350
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New Testament (Greek: Καινή Διαθήκη, Kainē Diathēkē) is the name given to the final portion of the Christian Bible, written after the Old Testament.
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Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (sometimes known as Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam) (October 27, 1466/1469 – July 12, 1536) was a Dutch humanist and theologian.
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Matthew Parker

Archbishop of Canterbury

Enthroned 19 December 1559
Ended 17 May 1575
Predecessor Reginald Cardinal Pole
Successor Edmund Grindal
Born 6 August 1504
Norwich
Died 17 May 1575

Buried Lambeth Chapel
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The Archbishop of Canterbury is the main leader of the Church of England and by convention is also recognised as head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The current archbishop is Rowan Williams.
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Hugh Latimer (b. approx. 1485/90, d. October 16, 1555) was the bishop of Rochester, the bishop of Worcester, and after his death he became a famous Protestant martyr.

Latimer was born into a family of farmers in Thurcaston, Leicestershire.
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diocese is an administrative territorial unit administrated by a bishop, hence also referred to as a bishopric or Episcopal Area (as in United Methodism) or episcopal see, though more often the term episcopal see means the office held by the bishop.
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Ely

Ely (United Kingdom)

Ely shown within the United Kingdom
Population 15,102
OS grid reference TL535799
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saint is one who is sanctified (cf. 2 Chron. 6:41). The early Christians were all called saints. (Heb. 13:24; Jud. 1:3; Phile. 1:5, 7) Over time, the traditional usage of the term saint
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relic is an object, especially a piece of the body or a personal item of someone of religious significance, carefully preserved with an air of veneration as a tangible memorial.
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pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance. Sometimes, it is a journey to a sacred place or shrine of importance to a person's beliefs and faith. Members of every major religion participate in pilgrimages.
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Walsingham is a village (actually two conjoined villages: Little Walsingham and Great Walsingham—the "Great" referring to its age, rather than its size) and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk.
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The Pope (from Latin: papa, father;[1] from Greek πάπας (papas) = father - originally written πάππας (
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Mass is a fundamental concept in physics, roughly corresponding to the intuitive idea of "how much matter there is in an object". Mass is a central concept of classical mechanics and related subjects, and there are several definitions of mass within the framework of relativistic
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Transubstantiation (in Latin, transsubstantiatio) is the change of the substance of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ occurring in the Eucharist according to the teaching of some Christian Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church.
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Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, (c. March 1471-1475 – November 28 or November 29, 1530), born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, was a powerful English statesman and a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

When Henry VIII became king in 1509, Wolsey's affairs prospered.
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Object-oriented Abstract Type Hierarchy (OATH) is a class library for C++ from Texas Instruments.
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Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] theologian, and church reformer. He is also considered to be the founder of Protestantism.
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Ipswich (pronounced /ˈɪpswɪtʃ/) is a non-metropolitan district in Suffolk, England on the estuary of the River Orwell.
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State Party United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 488
Region Europe and North America

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The Archbishop of Canterbury is the main leader of the Church of England and by convention is also recognised as head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The current archbishop is Rowan Williams.
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Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a "theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the Roman Catholic or Orthodox doctrine of the Christian
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