Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

History and Archival Studies, MA


School of Arts and Humanities

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Lori Anne Ferrell

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Joshua Goode

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2017 Sara Chetney


Early Modern England, Puritans, Separatists, Capital Punishment, Elizabethan England

Subject Categories

European History


This thesis explores the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the executions of London Separatist leaders Henry Barrow and John Greenwood on 6 April, 1593. Occurring after a lengthy prison term punctuated by official examinations conducted by authorities, the executions took place only after the men had been twice reprieved, performed so early as to avoid a crowd yet still in the appointed place of public execution. Focusing on Henry Barrow and the London Separatists, this thesis explores how a national climate of fear and violence led to a greater crackdown on religious dissidents, and argues that the strange circumstances of Barrow’s execution might be attributed to a reluctance to punish a fellow Protestant in the same manner as a Catholic recusant, and the great differences of opinion among both ecclesiastical and temporal state officials regarding the punishment of religious dissent. Though Conformist officials and authoritarianism would ultimately triumph over Puritan efforts to speed reform in the Church of England, the case of Henry Barrow illustrates the fractured state of opinion which was present even among the highest reaches of government.