Robert Barnes

1495-1540. Reformer and martyr. He graduated D.D. (1523) from Cambridge, where he met with others at the White Horse Tavern for Bible study. After preaching a sermon considered to be unorthodox, he was examined in 1526 by five bishops, Thomas Wolsey among them, and condemned to be burnt or abjure. He abjured and was imprisoned, but escaped to Antwerp. Later he met Luther at Wittenberg and also Stephen Vaughan, who wrote kindly of him to Thomas Cromwell* in England. Returning there, he became an intermediary between Henry VIII's government and the German Protestants. In 1540 the Protestant and Roman Catholic factions fought bitterly in Henry's council. The king had earlier refused to embrace the Protestant faith, and in the end the Catholic party gained dominance. Cromwell was beheaded, and Barnes with two others (William Jerome and Thomas Gerrard) was burnt for heresy.