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 main building. This is found in the gardens of St Mary de Lode Church and is quite impressive.
The monument commemorates Bishop Hooper who was burnt at the stake in 1555. He was killed because of his protestant religious beliefs. This memorial was built in between the years of 1861-63. The monument includes a statue of the bishop facing to the east as well as many decorative features.
John Hooper was a Protestant reformer in Tudor period of history, he was made an Anglican Bishop of Gloucester. Also known as Johan Hoper 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 John was doomed, Mary was a Catholic Queen.
Execution by burning at the stake
The Bishop was killed 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 organization, The Catholic Faith in this instance.
His execution supposedly took three attempts to kill him. Bishop Hooper is supposed to have 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 final moments. During the foundation excavations, a charred wooden stake was found. This can now be found in the Gloucester Life Museum, was it his?
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