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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Bartholomew Legate

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BARTHOLOMEW LEGATE ( c. 1 5751612), English fanatic, was born in Essex and became a dealer in cloth. About the beginning of the 17th century he became a preacher among a sect called the "Seekers," and appears to have held unorthodox opinions about the divinity of Jesus Christ. Together with his brother Thomas he was put in prison for heresy in 1611. Thomas died in Newgate gaol, London, but Bartholomew's imprisonment was not a rigorous one. James I. argued with him, and on several occasions he was brought before the Consistory Court of London, but without any definite result. Eventually, after having threatened to bring an action for wrongful imprisonment, Legate was tried before a full Consistory Court in February 1612, was found guilty of heresy, and was delivered to the secular authorities for punishment. Refusing to retract his opinions he was burned to death at Smithfield on the 18th of March 1612. Legate was the last person burned in London for his religious opinions, and Edward Wightman, who was burned at Lichfield in April 1612, was the last to suffer in this way in England.

See T. Fuller, Church History of Britain (1655); and S. R. Gardiner, History of England, vol. ii. (London, 5904).

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Bartholomew Legate'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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