Amersham, the Lollards and the Martyrs

2011 was the 500th anniversary of the death of the first Amersham Martyr and Amersham Museum put on a community play about this in March 2011.

The play told the story of 16th century Amersham. The seven Martyrs were burned at the stake during the reign of Henry VIII in 1511 and 1521 for their religious beliefs. They were part of a group called Lollards, who believed that they should be allowed to read and own the Bible in English rather than in Latin. They denounced the wealth of the church and wanted the freedom to worship in their own way. Religious courts were held to try them as heretics and to punish them.

This community play was produced by the Amersham Museum in 2001 and 2004 and again in 2011, all directed by Stan Pretty, a professional actor and director. The play was a promenade performance with a cast of about 60 adults plus over 40 children in St. Mary’s Church in Old Amersham. The performers told the story of the Martyrs and showed what life in Tudor times was like in Amersham. A choir was formed to re-create the musical sounds of the 16th century.

Click here to see a large album of photos taken during dress rehearsals

Click here to read about a slate plaque which has been erected in Market Square, Old Amersham to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of the first Amersham Martyr.

 

 

 

 

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Click here to see part of a rehearsal on YouTube