John Bradford

1510-1555. Protestant martyr. Educated at grammar school in Manchester, he saw service at Boulogne and the siege of Montreuil in 1544 under Sir John Harrington, paymaster to the English forces. Admitted to the Inner Temple in 1547, he turned to a study of divinity at the instance of a fellow-student, T. Sampson (later dean of Christ Church). Taking his Cambridge M.A. in 1549, Bradford became a fellow of Pembroke Hall, where John Whitgift* was among his pupils and the continental Reformer Martin Bucer* a personal friend. In the following year he was ordained deacon, and for his ability and sympathy to the Reformation licensed to preach by Nicholas Ridley.* In 1551 he became prebendary of St. Paul's and a royal chaplain. Arrested in 1553, he was imprisoned in the Tower, first with Edwin Sandys,* then with Ridley, Hugh Latimer,* and Thomas Cranmer* for a time. After examination he was burnt at Smithfield. “A bold, intrepid yet sweet and earnest preacher,” he was of singularly gentle character and “of more soft and mild nature than many of his fellows” (Parsons). His complete works were published in two volumes by the Parker Society (1848, 1853).