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
dedicated to John Noyes.