Plaque Commemorating Martyrdom of William Bamford Unveiled
By Stephen Toms
A plaque has been erected to the memory of William Bamford in the town of Harwich, where he was burned for his Protestant faith on 15th June, 1555. William Bamford, sometimes called William Butler, was a native of Coggeshall, and was a weaver by trade. The exact spot where the martyrdom took place is not known but it is thought that it would have been in what was known as the ‘punishment area,’ and the Essex Protestant Council (EPC) therefore arranged for the plaque to be placed on the New Bell Inn, in a street called Outpart Eastward, which is in that area.
A meeting was organised by the EPC to mark the occasion and this was held on 16th October, the anniversary of the burning of Latimer and Ridley at Oxford. The plaque was unveiled by the Mayor of Harwich, who, with other councillors, has shown great interest in this cruel burning. Mr David Butler led the meeting and Mr Charles Scott-Pearson, general secretary of the Protestant Alliance, ably addressed the gathering, preaching from Deuteronomy 8. The Gospel was clearly presented, the Protestant position plainly emphasised.
There were other inhabitants of Coggeshall tried with William Bamford and these persons were sent to different parts of Essex, witnessing to their belief in the teaching of the Bible, God’s Holy Word, and protesting against the false teaching of Romanism. One of them was Thomas Osmond who was burned in nearby