Belgium · Executions · Famous Last Words · Religion

English scholar and Bible translator executed

October 6, 1536
Near Vilvoorde, Duchy of Brabant, Seventeen Provinces (modern day Belgium)
William Tyndale is executed for speaking out against the Catholic Church’s rule over England

Tyndale, a Protestant, had translated the Bible in English using Hebrew and Greek texts (which became the basis of the King James Bible) and had done so to question papal ecclesiastical authority, essentially rebelling against the Catholic Church’s dominance over England and its laws. This defiance of the Pope combined with his outspoken disagreement of King Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon led to his fate.

For his efforts to increase religious tolerance for Protestants, he was sentenced to die by fire, though his sentence was amended to execution by strangulation before his body was burned at the stake. His last words were “Lord! Open the King of England’s Eyes.”

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