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Bl. John Larke

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English martyr ; died at Tyburn, 7 March, 1543-4. He was rector of St. Ethelburga's Bishopsgate, London, from 30 January, 1504-5, till his resignation in 1542; rector of Woodford, Essex, 18 January, 1526-7, till his resignation in the following April; and rector of Chelsea (on the presentation of Bl. Thomas More, [Tr. note: Thomas More was subsequently canonized ] then lord chancellor, whose parish priest and personal friend he became) from 29 March, 1530, till his attainder. Cresacre More styles him doctor, but it is not known in what faculty he obtained this degree. He was indicted 15 February, 1543-44, with another priest and two laymen. The priest was Ven. John Ireland, of whom nothing is known, save that, having been chaplain of the Roper chantry annexed to St. Dunstan's, Canterbury, for a year (1535-36), he became vicar of Eltham, Kent, and, as such, parish priest to Bl. Thomas More's son-in-law, William Roper of Well Hall. Of the laymen the more prominent is Bl. German Gardiner, a kinsman (probably either cousin or nephew) to Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, whose secretary he was. Educated at Cambridge, probably at Trinity Hall, he wrote against John Frith in 1534, and gave evidence against Cranmer in 1543. He resided at Southwark. The other layman was John Heywood , or Hayward, of London. All were condemned, but Heywood recanted on the hurdle, and made his recantation public at Paul's Cross on 6 July following. The other three suffered together, in the company of Robert Singleton, a priest, the cause of whose execution is uncertain, and their heads and quarters were buried under the gallows.


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