Dashwood, Sarah (2020) Gender, Sex, and Execution: The Analysis of Elizabeth Barton (1506-1534) and Anne Askew (1521-1546) Prior to their Executions for Treason. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis examines the role of gender and execution in the early modern era. It examines whether Elizabeth Barton’s gender made it easier to cast doubt and defame her character. At the age of nineteen, and after an extended illness, Barton began having visions which quickly came to expose King Henry’s reign and authority. This thesis also examines the early stages of Barton’s visionary pursuit and how she emulated medieval mystics such as Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, and Bridget of Sweden. The public penance Barton endured was to ensure that she would not be remembered as a saint or a prophet after her death.

This thesis also examines Anne Askew’s gender in relation to her torture and execution. It argues that as a gentlewoman Askew should have been exempt from any form of torture. However, it enabled anxieties around the Henry VIII’s declining health and Catherine Parr’s increased influence to be realised. It also examines Askew’s Examinations and the two conflicting characterisations set out, the first by Anne Askew herself as a strong, independent, young women. The second by John Bale, her posthumous publisher as, weak, young, and tender.

It does not appear that Askew and Barton had many similarities, they practiced opposing religions, their level of education was vastly different, and their marital status differed. However, the way in which they experienced religion in a period of religious upheaval was significant.

FINAL THESIS - Dashwood.pdf - Accepted Version
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