Laurence Saunders

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wife and child visit Laurence Saunders in prison

Laurence Saunders (* 1519 , † 8. February 1555 in Coventry ), and Lawrence Saunders wrote, was an English Protestant martyr , whose life story in Foxe 's Book of Martyrs is recorded. A Latinized variant of the name is Laurentius Sa (u) nders . According to his own statement, the transcript of his heretic trial gives 1520 as the year of his birth.


Early years

Saunders was educated at Eton College and King's College (Cambridge) . After obtaining his Baccalaureus Artium degree in 1541, he was trained by Sir William Chester, but soon abandoned his economic ambitions and continued his studies, with a master’s degree in 1544 and a doctorate in theology. In the early years of Edward VI's reign he received a license to preach. He was considered extremely talented and was accordingly very popular, which earned him an official position as a lecturer in Fotheringhay and later at Lichfield Cathedral . In 1553 he got a job at All Hallows Bread Street Church in London , where George Marsh became his vicar.

Trial and death

On October 15, 1553, he preached in Northampton , warning the congregation that "the errors of the papal religion" would be reintroduced into the Church through Queen Mary and that England would be threatened with God's visitation for her "tepid indifference on the matter Christ and the blessings of his glorious gospel ”.

The burning of Laurence Saunders in Coventry

In October 1554 he was arrested on the orders of the Bishop of London , Edmund Bonner , after giving a sermon on All Hallows Bread Street . After three months in prison, he was charged on January 29, 1555 and convicted of heresy. He was taken to Coventry and burned on February 8, 1555 . Before he was chained to the stake, he kissed it with the words "Welcome O Cross of Christ, welcome, eternal life!"

Saunders' martyrdom is said to have formed the occasion for conversion and the later martyrdom of Joyce Lewis .


Laurence Saunders was the son of Thomas Saunders' († 1528) from Sibbertoft , Northamptonshire , and Margaret, the daughter of Richard Caves († 1538) from Stanford , and his first wife, Elizabeth Mervin. He had five brothers, the judge Sir Edward Saunders († 1576), the lawyer and businessman Robert Saunders († 1559), Joseph Saunders, and the merchants Blase Saunders († 1581) and Ambrose Saunders († 1586), as well as three sisters, Sabine, wife of the businessman John Johnson, Christian († 1545), wife of Christopher Breten, and Jane, wife of Clement Villiers.

While in Lichfield, Saunders married a woman named Joanna, with whom he had a son, Samuel. After the death of her husband, Joanna left England with Robert and Lucy Harrington. Lucy Harrington died a short time later, and on June 18, 1556, Joanna married Robert Harrington.


  • Trewe Mirrour of Glase Wherin We Maye Beholde the Wofull State of Thys Our Realme of Englande , published 1556, Saunders' authorship is controversial
    • New edition Walter J. Johnson Inc. 1975, ISBN 978-90-221-0761-4 , in the series The English Experience, Its Record in Early Printed Books Published in Facsimile , # 76


Claas Bruin (1670–1732) published the book Korte schets van het leven en sterven der Martelaren in 1719, which includes the poem De Verbranding van Laurentius Sanders about him after the chapter on and the illustration on Laurence Saunders :


Al word gy om uw deugd en 't Kruisgeloof verraaden,
Geen nood, LAURENTIUS, vertroost u in uw leed;
Al zyn uw vyanden schynheilig boos, en wreed,
Zy can 't lichaam wel, maar de noble aim in no way harm,
Dat kostelyk juweel, hoe loos door list bezwaart,
Blyft, schoon 't heel-al vergaat, steeds in Gods hand bewaat.

Simon Doekes quoted the poem in 1741 in his collection of poems Verzameling der overgeblevene bybelzede- en mengelpoëzy .

In 1747 it appeared in De Historie der Martelaren by Adriaen Cornelis van Haemstede, here, as in 1719, again as a caption for a biography of Saunders.


Lawrence Saunders Road in Coventry is named after him.


  • Doreen MK Agutter: Midland Ancestor Quarterly . December 2004.
  • JH Baker: Saunders, Sir Edward (1506-1576) . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , 2004 ( online [accessed September 24, 2012]).
  • Tom Betteridge: Saunders, Lawrence (d.1555) . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004 ( online [accessed September 24, 2012]).
  • Barbara Winchester: Tudor Family Portrait . Jonathan Cape, London 1955.
  • 1890 Pronouncing Edition of the Holy Bible. (Short biographies of the translators and reformers as well as other important Bible scholars)
  • Robert Edmond Chester Waters: Genealogical Memoirs of the Extinct Family of Chester of Chicheley . tape I . Robson and Sons, London 1878.
  • John Rogers: Writings of Rogers, Saunders, Taylor, and Careless, confessors and martyres, AD 1555-1556 . Presbyterian Board of Publication, Philadelphia 1842.
  • J. Hixson Irving: Lawrence Saunders, the martyr: and his friends . Pickering & Inglis, Glasgow.
  • Adriaen Cornelis van Haemstede: De Historie der Martelaren. van der Deyster, Leiden 1747, ( online )
  • Simon Doekes: Verzameling the overgeblevene bybelzede- en mengelpoëzy. Gerrit Tielenburg, Amsterdam 1741, ( online )
  • Claas Bruin: Korte schets van het leeven en sterven der martelaaren. Jan Blom, Amsterdam 1719, ( online ).
  • Jean Crespin , Paul Crocius : The great book of martyrs. Herman Brauer, Bremen 1682, ( online ).
  • Rudolf Huber: Apophthegmata Martyrum. Johann Wilhelm Simler, Zurich 1664.
  • John Foxe: The Acts and Monuments of Martyrs . tape 2 . London 1641.
  • Saunders family genealogical notes, Genealogical notes collection, 21145 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h Betteridge: Saunders, Lawrence (d.1555). 2004.
  2. ^ Foxe: The Acts and Monuments of Martyrs. 1641, pp. 225-226.
  3. ^ Henry Summerson: Lewis, Joyce other married name Joyce Appleby, Lady Appleby (d. 1557) in: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed January 31, 2015.
  4. Baker: Saunders, Sir Edward (1506-1576). 2004; Waters: Genealogical Memoirs of the Extinct Family of Chester of Chicheley. 1878, pp. 75-80.
  5. Winchester: Tudor Family Portrait. 1955, pp. 17, 81; Agutter: Midland Ancestor Quarterly. 2004.