Askew, Anne

(1521-1546)
   Forced by her father to marry at the age of fifteen, Askew rebelled, refused to take her husband's name, left the marital home and moved to London, where she gave sermons and distributed Protestant books. Because such books had been banned she was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London, where she was tortured in an attempt to force her to name other Protestants. Not even the promise of a king's pardon could induce Askew to name names. Found guilty of being a Protestant, she was condemned to be burned at the stake for preaching against the doctrine of transubstantiation. A full account of her life and death can be found in Book of Martyrs by John Foxe (1563). While in Newgate prison, Askew wrote a 56 line ballad that reflects the words of Stephen the Martyr in Acts 7:59-60. Another ballad attributed to her is "Martyrdom-I Am a Woman Poor and Blind," in which she rejoices that her spirit will rise from the ashes at the Resurrection of the Dead.
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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