May 30, 1416
Czech scholar and philosopher Jerome of Prague is burned at the stake for heresy
Jerome’s heresy was proclaiming one did not need to attend church to attain God’s teachings, and one should follow Jesus’s words directly even if they conflicted with what the Catholic Church decreed. Because of his sermons preaching these tenets, Jerome was arrested and tried.
After being jailed for a year while ill, Jerome recanted his beliefs. The Catholic council believed his recantation to be insincere and brought him to trial once again, hoping for a more earnest confession. Jerome withdrew his renunciation, claiming he had disavowed his beliefs out of fear and weakness. The council found Jerome guilty of being a relapsed heretic and he was burned at the stake.