John Stone (martyr)

John Stone (Martyr)

John Stone (martyr)

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St John Stone was an English Augustinian friar who was executed, probably in December 1539; he was canonised in 1970.

Friar Stone was a Doctor of Theology, living in the Augustinian friary at Canterbury. The place where the Augustinian friary once stood on St George's Street is still called Whitefriars.

During the time of the Reformation Parliament, Stone publicly denounced the behaviour of King Henry VIII from the pulpit of the Austin Friars and stated his approval of the status of monarch's first marriage - clearly opposing the monarch's wish to gain a divorce.

The Act of Supremacy of 1534 declared the king to be the only supreme head of the Church in England. This was followed by the Treasons Act which enjoined the penalty of high treason on anyone who might maliciously desire to deprive the king of his title of supreme head of the Church. All bishops, priests and religious were required to sign a formal document explicitly acknowledging Henry VIII as head of the church in England. On 14 December 1538 the Bishop of Dover Richard Ingworth visited Canterbury and called on the Augustinian friary with an order to close it down as part of the dissolution of monasteries in England. Every friar was forced to sign a formal document agreeing to the Act of Supremacy; Stone refused to sign.

After being held in the Tower of London Stone was sent back to Canterbury to be tried under the Treasons Act. He was executed at the (Dungeon Hill), Canterbury.

"Behold I close my apostolate...
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