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Medieval torture device, the rack. Source: Bildergarage / Adobe Stock.

Anne Askew - Stretched on the Rack Until Her Tendons Snapped (Video)


In a turbulent era under Henry VIII's rule, Anne Askew's tale unfolds as a beacon of unwavering courage in the face of oppression. Born into privilege, she embraced Protestant beliefs and shared her convictions openly. Despite her education, her marriage to a devout Catholic turned tumultuous. Disowned by her husband, she took to the London streets as an evangelist. Arrested and detained, Anne faced brutal interrogations and was illegally stretched on the rack in the Tower of London until her tendons snapped. Shackled and subjected to unimaginable agony, she refused to implicate others or betray her beliefs.

In 1546, Anne was executed by being burned at the stake, her unbroken resolve shining even as flames engulfed her. Today she is seen as a symbol of defiance against religious persecution and a Protestant martyr. Notably, Anne Askew was one of only two women to have been tortured at the Tower of London, her legacy enduring as a reminder of the human spirit's indomitable nature.Top of Form

Top image: Medieval torture device, the rack. Source: Bildergarage / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell



I just read Alison Weir's The King's Pleasure, which details Anne Askew's story.

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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