Refusing to Hear the Mass

Refusing to Hear the Mass

From John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Chapter 4, Papal Persecutions.

If they [Protestants] refused to hear Mass, they were sentenced to the bastinado [torcher], of which dreadful punishment the following is a description:

  • Preparatory to it, the chains are taken off, and the victims delivered into the hands of the Turks that preside at the oars, who strip them quite naked, and stretching them upon a great gun, they are held so that they cannot stir; during which there reigns an awful silence throughout the galley.
  • The Turk who is appointed the executioner (and who thinks the sacrifice acceptable to his prophet Mahomet), most cruelly beats the wretched victim with a rough cudgel [short thick stick used as a weapon] or knotty rope’s end, until the skin is flayed off his bones, and he is near the point of expiring;
  • then they apply a most tormenting mixture of vinegar and salt, and
  • consign him to that most intolerable hospital where thousands under their cruelties have expired.