John Noyes - Burnt at the stake in Laxfield - Suffolk
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Picture
                    (c) by John Ashley Photography

In the year 1557 religious fervour gripped England spilling over into the various counties. In the Suffolk town of Laxfield, John Noyes a shoemaker was condemned to die because of his religious beliefs. He was sentenced at Eye, that he should be taken back to his home village of Laxfield and burnt at the stake.

On the 21st September 1557, he was led to the stake where he knelt down and prayed. However, legend has it that the folk of Laxfield did not agree with the sentence passed down on him and so on the appointed day the villagers had dosed all their home fires so there would be nothing to light the wood with.

Unfortunately there was one who either forgot to put out his home fire or perhaps agreed with the sentence and it was from this fire that the fagots were lit beneath John Noyes.

His last words were "Lord, have mercy on me! Christ, have mercy upon me!" The ashes of the body were buried in a pit, and with them one of his feet, whole to the ankle, with the stocking. 

There is a plaque at the front of the Baptist church in Laxfield dedicated to John Noyes.

 Picture (c) by John Ashley Photography