1523 – Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes become the first Lutheran martyrs, burned at the stake by Roman Catholic authorities in Brussels.
Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes were the first two Lutheran martyrs executed by the Council of Brabant for their adherence to Reformation doctrine. They were burned at the stake in Brussels on 1 July 1523.
Esch and Voes were Augustinian monks of Saint Augustine’s Monastery in Antwerp. When in 1522 all the monks there publicly professed Lutheran doctrine, the Bishop of Cambrai had them all arrested and imprisoned in Vilvorde, where they were interrogated by Jacob van Hoogstraten from Cologne and some dependably Catholic professors. When the monks realized that they risked being burned alive if they did not recant, all except three—Johann Esch, Heinrich Voes, and Lampertus Thorn—recanted. The recanting monks were released but were not returned to the monastery, which instead was declared defiled and soon demolished.
Refusal to recant
Esch, Voes, and Thorn, still held in custody, were questioned again by the ecclesiastical inquisition court, but they refused to recant. They were then handed over to the secular court and sentenced to death. They were taken to Brussels and held until the appointed day of execution on July 1, 1523. New attempts were made meanwhile to get them to renounce. Voes was brought first to the inquisitors, but he refused to recant. Esch also refused to renounce Lutheranism. Thorn asked for an additional four-day period to study the scriptures with respect to his views, and thus he was not executed then with Esch and Voes. Esch and Voes were summarily delivered to the executioner, brought to the marketplace in Brussels, and burned alive. For some reason, the charges against them were not read aloud as was the established practice; it has been conjectured that the authorities were concerned that hearing the charges might cause Lutheran ideas to spread among the public witnesses or that the ideas were already there and would ignite a protest. Thorn was spared in prison for an additional five years, dying in prison in 1528.
On learning of the execution of Esch and Voes, Martin Luther wrote what is thought to be his first hymn, “Ein neues Lied wir heben an” (“A new song we raise”) which was printed in the Erfurt Enchiridion of 1524. This is generally known in English as John C. Messenger’s translation by the first line and title “Flung to the Heedless Winds” and sung to tune IBSTONE composed in 1875 by Maria C. Tiddeman or to tune DENBY composed in 1904 by Charles J. Dale).
1725 – Rhoda Delaval, English painter (d. 1757)
Rhoda Delaval Astley (1 July 1725 – 1757) was an English aristocrat and artist. She was married to Edward Astley, with whom she had a daughter and three sons. Lady Astley studied painting with Arthur Pond, who painted her portrait. Seaton Delaval Hall passed from the Delaval family to the Astley family through her descendants.
Rhoda Delaval was born on 1 July 1725 to Captain Francis Blake Delaval (the elder) and Rhoda Apreece and baptized at St George’s, Hanover Square in London on 22 July 1725.:133 She was their oldest daughter of 12 children. Her siblings were Anne Hussey, Mary Elizabeth, Sarah, Robert, George, Henry, Ralph, Francis, Edward, Thomas, John. Two years after her birth, her brother, Sir Francis Blake Delaval (the younger) (1727–1771) was born. A brother George, who died as a young adult, also pursued the art of painting with her instructor, Arthur Pond. She was known to be a talented, beautiful woman. One of her sisters was Sarah, Countess of Mexborough.
Marriage and children
On 23 May 1751, she married Edward Astley, who became the 4th Baronet of Melton Constable. They lived at 11 Downing Street when in London. Astley gave birth to four children, one daughter and three sons. Editha Rhoda was born 14 April 1755 and died by 12 May, when she was brought to be buried. Edward was born and died by 1757 and Francis was born in 1757.:133–134 Sir Jacob Henry Astley, 5th Baronet was born 12 September 1756.:134
She died in 1757 following the birth of Francis:133–134 and was buried 21 October 1757 at Widcombe, Bath with her son Edward and daughter Edith Rhoda at a church near the manor.:133–134
Edward Astley lived at Melton Constable with his children after her death. Her letters, before and after her marriage, describe the personal daily lives of the people she knew in Northumberland. As the result of Edward and Rhoda’s marriage, Seaton Delaval Hall came into the Astley family in 1814 through Jacob, when none of her brothers produced a male heir.:134
Periodically between 1744 and 1750, Astley studied art under Arthur Pond, who also painted her portrait. She purchased prints for about £1,500 (equivalent to £212,816 in 2015) from Pond.
The National Portrait Gallery has the painting of her drawing with pastels. Her painting of Sir Jacob Astley, 1st Baron Astley of Reading was made from a 17th-century original painting. She made a painting of herself and her brother entitled Painting and Poetry, patterned after Bernardino Luini. The painting of Anne Hussey Delaval (1737–1812), Lady Stanhope in the National Trust is attributed to Rhoda Delaval and is loan by Lord Hastings. Lady Anne Delaval Stanhope was Astley’s sister.:183 She had been commissioned, for a total of about £300 (equivalent to £42,563 in 2015), to paint portraits of her sisters and brothers.
James MacArdell made an engraving of her self-portrait. In 1756, her portrait was painted by Joshua Reynolds and the painting was at Ford Castle in 1897. Another painting of her is in Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire.:133
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