Glastonbury residents are petitioning the Queen to pardon a local priest – almost 500 years after he was executed.
Richard Whiting was the last Abbot of Glastonbury. But, in 1539, the 78-year-old was dragged to the top of Glastonbury Tor where he was hanged, drawn and quartered.
Whiting had been convicted of “robbing Glastonbury church” but it seems more likely that he had angered King Henry VIII by refusing to give up the Abbey and opposing the king’s divorce.
“We are asking for Justice and an act of mercy for this worthy Englishman, explains Amanda Marshall who has started an online petition.
“For Abbot Whiting to be exonerated of any accused wrongdoing and granted by the Grace of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll, a Royal Pardon, absolution and restored to the right of being known as innocent.”
The campaigners are hoping Her Majesty will pardon the Abbot as part of her Platinum Jubilee next year. Traditionally, years of jubilee are times of forgiveness and reconciliation.
The Mayor of Glastonbury, John Cousins (pictured), was the first to sign the formal petition to Her Majesty.
He said: “Should the Monarch make this gracious act during the year-long Platinum Jubilee celebrations. it would, indeed, bring much peace and healing to Glastonbury, to our community and to this special, holy place.