Anne Askew – inspires us to courageously stand up for the truth of the gospel
1521 – 1546
Anne Askew was an evangelist, reformer, and Christian martyr. Despite terrible tortures, she refused to renounce her biblical faith or name other protestant reformers, and was finally burned at the stake for ‘heresy’ in 1546, aged just 25.
Born into a wealthy family, after her sister’s death, Anne was forced to marry her sister’s fiancé. He was a Catholic and a cruel man. They clashed over biblical doctrine and he divorced her.
Askew loved the bible and memorized large parts of it. Being convinced of the authority of scripture she felt compelled to evangelise and proclaim the gospel. She was arrested several times for ‘heresy’ as she was unafraid to speak out against unbiblical Roman Catholic doctrine and proclaimed God’s Word in plain English so everyone could understand.
Askew is the only woman known to have been tortured in the Tower of London. She was subject to the infamous ‘rack’ where hands and feet are bound and pulled apart – but she refused to name others who shared her faith. After the torture, with many joints dislocated, she was unable to walk and had to be carried to be burned at the stake. As the Bishop preached to give a last chance for pardon, Askew agreed when he proclaimed biblical truth, but whenever he went beyond the words of the Bibke she exclaimed: “There he misseth, and speaketh without the book.” A faithful servant of the word to her dying breath!
Anne Askew’s autobiographical Examinations detail her persecution and give insight into sixteenth century womanhood and faith, and is a marvellous testament to her bravery, loyalty and devotion to Christ.