Museum of The Book
The Home Schoolers
Between 1512-1522 nine convicted criminals John Ward, Master Archer, Thomas Bond, Master Hawkins, Robert Hockett, Thomas Lansdail, Master Wrigsham, Mistress Smith and Robert Silkeby were all burned at the stake in Coventry for the crime of teaching their children to recite the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments in English. The statue cited for this crime and punishment is known as “De heretico comburendo (2Hen.4 c.15) and was passed in 1401 by King Henry IV forbidding owning or producing a translation of the Bible into English and provided punishment for heretics by burning at the stake. This was a reaction to the Bible translation of John Wyclife. The act wasn’t repealed until Elizabeth I in 1559 after her half sister Queen Mary oversaw the burning of nearly 300 so called heretics between 1554 and 1558. Every single week for almost five years someone was arrested, charged, tried, found guilty and executed because the government in power didn’t like their religion.
Where did those nine parents find the Lord’s Prayer and Ten Commandments in English in order to home school their children? William Tyndale had not yet given England its first New Testament in English when these Godly parents were arrested. Could it be they had access to a copy of Wynken de Worde’s Floure of the Ten Commandments? There is no doubt Wynken de Worde was flaunting the law by printing portions of the Bible into English but could he really have envisaged the consequences of others being executed for his brave attempt at giving the Word of God to people hungry for the truth of salvation?
For that matter have you ever stopped to think when you financially support the distribution of the Word of God in places not sympathetic to Christians that you may well contribute to the persecution and suffering of believers in Jesus Christ? How much do you love your children? Enough to risk your lives for them to know God? Then rest assured those you help to receive the Word of God in difficult circumstances around the world are eternally grateful for your contribution to their persecution and suffering. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
See a copy of Wynken de Wordes original first edition Floure of the Ten Commandments on display at the Museum of The Book. Book A Visit