Located a short walk from Gloucester Cathedral is the Bishop Hooper Memorial is a pretty historic monument in St Mary’s Square. The best way to find this is by passing through Saint Mary’s Gate to the west of the principal building. You can find this in the gardens of St Mary de Lode Church and is quite impressive.
Bishop Hooper Monument
The monument commemorates Bishop Hooper, who they burnt at the stake in 1555. They killed John Hopper because of his protestant religious beliefs. They built this memorial in between the years of 1861 and 1863. The monument includes a statue of the bishop facing to the east, and many decorative features.
John Hooper was a Protestant reformer in the Tudor period of history. They made him an Anglican Bishop of Gloucester. Also known as Johan Hooper was born in 1495, an English Bishop, a Protestant reformer and a Protestant martyr. He was a proponent of the English Reformation when the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.
When Queen Mary I ascended to the throne in 1553. It doomed John. Mary was a Catholic Queen.
Execution by burning at the stake
They killed the Bishop on February 9, 1555, two years into Mary’s reign. This happened outside of the Cathedral in St Mary’s Square. The charges were for heresy. Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs. In particular, the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organisation, The Catholic Faith.
His execution supposedly took three attempts to kill him. They say Bishop Hooper cried out, ‘For God’s love, good people, give me more fire!’ during his execution. This was quite the spectacle with around 7000 people witnessing his last moments. During the foundation excavations, they found a charred wooden stake. We can now find this in the Gloucester Life Museum. Was it the stake they burned him on?