The Maidstone Martyrs


I've been in France for the last week or so on my annual trip to The Somme but before I went I managed to sneak a few hours in Maidstone and I have at last managed to photograph the memorial plaque to the Maidstone Martyrs.

The plaque is on the wall of the Cork and Cask pub in Fairmeadow, Maidstone, and the inscription reads:


I can only find the names of two of the seven who died and they are William Allin and his wife.  He was a miller from Frittenden which is a small village about 12 miles further along the Medway past Headcorn.  There are references to Thomas Hilton being burned at the stake in February 1530 but he isn't one of those on this memorial plaque - there is a 7 year gap.  Thomas Hilton was considered to be one of the very first English Martyrs.

The plaque is, as I said, on the wall of the Cork and Cask pub.  Back in 1557 this location would have been part of the busy local trading area sloping down to the banks of the River Medway.  The Medway is still there and so is the street called Fairmeadow but the busy A20 and A229 form a 5 lane barrier between them with a 12 foot wall so photographing is a bit awkward.  The area is also not a meadow by any stretch of the imagination.

Thanks to Pete and Longpockets who sent me links and directions which made finding this easier.  The links and messages sent also show that this pub has previously been called 'The Lamb' and also 'Drakes Pub'.

Whilst researching this memorial plaque I learned that there is a "Martyr's Memorial" in Staplehurst, which is about 10 miles from Maidstone - so I'll photograph that next time I'm over that way - unless anyone can do so before me.

Here are a couple of photographs of the Maidstone memorial plaque taken just over a week ago.

Thanks to Longpockets (again) for aiming me in the direction of the full list of the 7 who were executed.  This is provided by " The List of Protestant Martyrs of the English Reformation " on Wikipedia and the names shown are :

Joan (or Jone) Bradbridge  Staplehurst, Kent.  Presumably a relative of Widow Bradbridge, burnt 19 June 1557.  Burnt 18 June 1557   Maidstone, Kent.

Walter Appleby   of Maidstone, Kent.   Burnt 18 June 1557   Maidstone, Kent
Petronil Appleby    of Maidstone, Kent   wife of Walter Appleby   Burnt 18 June 1557   Maidstone, Kent   

Edmund Allin (or Allen)   Maplehurst Mill, Frittenden, Kent   miller   burnt 18 June 1557   Maidstone, Kent   

Katherine Allin (or Allen)   Maplehurst Mill, Frittenden, Kent   Wife of Edmund Allin/Allen, miller   burnt 18 June 1557   Maidstone, Kent   

Joan (or Jone) Manning     Maidstone, Kent      burnt 18 June 1557   Maidstone, Kent   

Elizabeth (surname possibly 'Lewis')      blind maid   burnt 18 June 1557   Maidstone, Kent   

Thank you to whomever compiled the full list.  There are well over 300 persons named on this document who died, in one way or another, for their faith.  Makes very interesting reading.


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