John Dudley Speaks on the Scaffold

A wonderful article by the allthingsrobertdudley blog about John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland’s execution.

All Things Robert Dudley

After a day’s postponement, which they had used to reconcile themselves to the Catholic faith, on 22 August 1553, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, Sir John Gates, and Sir Thomas Palmer were led out of the Tower of London to be beheaded at nearby Tower Hill. The eagerly anticipated event was watched by a crowd of an estimated 10,000 people. There survives an unusually high number, four or five at least, of independent versions of Northumberland’s scaffold speech; differing only slightly in contents, they testify to his celebrity status at the time, however unpopular he may have been. His return to the old faith and his denunciation of the new was an opportunity not to be missed, so there was an “official” version of the duke’s “confession” which was printed by John Cawood on the orders of Queen Mary. It soon became the basis for several Latin, French, German, and Italian…

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