Set against the backdrop of the religious and political tumult of English Reformation, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, was a controversial work from the outset. It is at once a polemic against the Catholic Church, viewed through a series of burnings, tortures, and excesses (including the execution of the “Braynford [i.e. Brentford] Sixe” in 1558); as well as an attempt to legitimise the newly born Church of England.
John Foxe, 1631 (originally published in 1563). Layton Collection 1070