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The Marian Persecutions, also known as the Marian Exile or the Marian Restoration (among Catholics), were a series of persecutions of English Protestants that took place from 1553 to 1558 during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I, as part of her efforts to roll back Protestant reforms in England and restore Catholicism.

With Mary's repeal of all religious legislation passed under her predecessor King Edward VI, Protestants were faced a difficult choice: exile, re-conversion back to Catholicism, or punishment and possible execution for heresy. Thousands of people went into exile and hundreds of dissenters were burned at the stake, earning the Queen the sobriquet "Bloody Mary."

The total number of people executed for their faith during the persecutions is thought to be at least 287, including 56 women, and at least 30 others died in prison before the persecutions came to an end in 1558 with Mary's death.

Martin Guerre was an otherwise unremarkable French peasant who lived in the mid 16th century and became famous to history as the center of a celebrated case of alleged identity theft and impersonation that occurred in the village of Artigat in the region of Gascony.

Born around 1524, Martin married a fellow peasant woman, Bertrande de Rols, in 1538 when he was around 14 years old. However, in 1548, Martin mysteriously vanished without a trace, leaving Bertrande and their

"Be of good comfort, and play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."

- English religious reformer Hugh Latimer to fellow reformer Nicholas Ridley,
shortly before they were both burned at the stake for heresy, October 1555.

"Bear righteousness and the Way on a shoulder of iron,
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