William Wolsey was a Constable at Upwell, near Wisbech. He was deprived of his office when one of the Justices noticed that, although Wolsey was a regular worshipper at the parish church, he used to absent himself at the Mass. He had obtained a smuggled New Testament in English and by reading it had become convinced that the Roman doctrine of the Mass was erroneous. In Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, John Foxe records that Wolsey was told that as a layman he should not meddle in the Scriptures. John Fuller, Chancellor of the Bishop of Ely, lent him a book by Thomas Watson, Bishop of Lincoln. Wolsey took the book and read it, marking his disagreements in the text. Fuller asked him to ‘rule his tongue’ and he would see that he was let off. However, Wolsey declared that he must speak and be witness to the truth.
Robert Pygot was a painter from Wisbech who was summonsed for not attending church.
He and Wolsey were sent to prison at Ely to face the commissioners who could try them for heresy. On 9 October 1555 they appeared before a Commission comprising Dr Fuller and the Dean of Norwich, John Christopherson. When questioned about the Mass they made the following answer: “The sacrament of the altar is an idol and the natural body and blood of Christ are not present in the said sacrament.” They refused to recant their denial of the sacrament, believing this was not heresy, but the truth, and were condemned to death.
A week later, on 16 October, they were executed by burning on the Cathedral Green at Ely, the same day Latimer and Ridley were martyred at Oxford. The sentence of condemnation was read and a sermon preached then they were led out to the stake. With them were burnt copies of the Bible in English, and Wolsey and Pygot seized copies of these, reciting Psalm 116, and imploring all present to say, ‘Amen’. And so, records Foxe, they ‘received the fire most thankfully.’
(Taken from here)
(Taken from here)