4 July 1597 – Henry Abbot

Bait was used to lure Henry Abbott to his death in the 16th century. And with a name like Abbott, it seems fitting that his crime was religion-based.

A Yorkshire man by birth, Abbott was a Catholic convert at a time when England was in the grip of the Reformation – a break away from Roman Catholicism towards the establishment of the Church of England and Protestantism.

Going underground

Like Margaret Clitherow, he was just trying to practice his religion covertly – that was until the perfect scam artist came along to blow the whole operation wide open.

A dubious Protestant minister had been sent to jail and needed to make amends for his nefarious deeds, so he pretended to his fellow prisoners that he was a convert to the Catholic faith.

On release from jail, the cunning Protestant put it about that he was after a Catholic priest to help him repent – Abbot got wind of his request and agreed to set up the meeting.

Abbott ails

Instead, no sooner than the minister had enough evidence, he betrayed Abbott to the authorities and the poor bloke was arrested, found guilty of hiding a priest and sentenced to die.

Abbot was strung up, then unceremoniously stripped of his nether equipment and quartered in York on 4 July 1597.

Also on this day

4 July 1923 – Rowland Duck

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