The scourging to death of 8 year old Will Fetty.
John Fetty was a forty two year old tailor from Clerkenwell, London who was reported by his wife to the priests for not attending church. The first occasion she complained she suddenly fell down and was distracted, seemingly mad. In the circumstances John Fetty was not prosecuted but allowed to remain with his family and to tend to his wife and two children. She recovered after about three weeks and then complained again about her husband (so much for gratitude for his nursing her back to health). John Fetty was apprehended a second time and taken before Sir John Mordant, one of the Queen`s Commissioners, who remitted him to be
detained in the Lollard`s Tower (a bare room equipped with stocks, chains, manacles and the like used to hold prisoners of religion. There were two in London – one at St Paul`s Church and the other in the Bishop`s Palace at Lambeth,
After about fifteen days in the Lollard`s Tower, John Fetty`s eight year old son, Will, went to the Bishop`s palace wishing to see his father. A chaplain asked whim where his father was and his name. Informed that the boy`s father was in the Lollards Tower, the chaplain said “Thy father is a heretic” To which the boy responded that his father was no heretic but you (the chaplain) are . This spirited reply caused the chaplain to seize hold the boy and take him into the bishops house where he scourged (whipped) the boy. Not satisfied at lacerating the youngster he was then carried into his father, “the blood running down by his heels”. His distraught father asked why he had been so treated and the boy told him that a priest with Balaam`s mark had done it. At this he was forcibly removed and taken back into the bishop`s house where he was detained for three days.
Clearly the boy`s condition gave cause for alarm as
Bonner was known to be fond of scourging and was chastened by the prospect of a charge of murder if the boy died. With this in mind he sought to salve his conscience by releasing the father. Thus John Fetty
returned home carrying the broken body of his son who died fourteen days
later; murdered by an alleged man of God.