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Cambridge and the Reformation Martyrs

David Llewellyn Jenkins

In the decade following Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the door of the castle church of Wittenberg in 1517, the phenomenon of social and religious change known as the Reformation made rapid inroads across a spiritually-starved Europe. In England the nursing mother of this new movement was the University of Cambridge. The most brilliant scholars of their generation, men like Robert Barnes and John Frith, were called to resistance and reform by the rule of truth they found in the inscripturated Word of God. To these early makers of the English Protestant tradition the rediscovery of a gracious God and a saving Christ meant more than the established order of Christendom.

By the end of the 1530s, however, Henry VIII had begun to move away from the path of religious reform. The Act of Six Articles (1539) defined in thoroughly orthodox terms the doctrinal form of the English Church. Far worse was to follow. After the death of Edward VI – ‘the young Josiah’ – in July 1553, Mary I set about restoring every aspect of Rome’s dominion. In forty-five months between February 1555 and November 1558, nearly 300 Reformed Christians were burned alive. It is doubtful whether any university in Europe suffered more than Cambridge for pitting the Word of God, unadulterated and unabbreviated, against the customs and decrees of the medieval church. Whither God Brings Us makes available to a modern readership the story of those who gave up their families, their positions and their lives in the cause of Christ; at the stake and in the prison the doctrine of the Gospel won its most glorious triumph.

A thrilling book that will put steel in the backbone of any who read it. I was moved to tears by the courage, wisdom and humility of these humble people.

Dr Geoffrey Thomas

A magnificent and deeply-moving account of well- and little-known heroes of the English Reformation. An urgent challenge to all who profess the Christian Faith.

Dr Alan C. Clifford


First published in Great Britain 2018

by Charenton Reformed Publishing

All rights reserved

ISBN 978-0-9929465-8-6

354 pages £20.00 (case-bound)

Cover concept: A. C. Clifford

Cover image: In 1538 Thomas Cromwell ordered that a copy of the Great Bible – the first authorized edition of the Bible in English – be stationed in every parish church, thus underlining the move to a new Christianity. An illustration from a popular abridgement of Foxe’s Acts and Monuments (London: Adams, 1873).


I. Robert Barnes, Richard Bayfield, Thomas Garrard, William Jerome
II. Thomas Dusgate, John Cardmaker
III. John Frith, John Rogers
IV. Thomas Bilney
V. John Lambert
VI. George Marsh
VII. Robert Ferrar
VIII. John Bradford
IX. Laurence Saunders, Robert Glover, John Hullier
X. Nicholas Ridley, Hugh Latimer
XI. Thomas Cranmer
XII. John Bland
XIII. Rowland Taylor, Richard Yeoman
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Select Bibliography
Index of Scripture
Index of Names