“BISHOP BILL APOLOGISES FOR CORNISH MASSACRE
by SIMON PARKER
The massacre of thousands during the vicious suppression of a Cornish rebellion more than 450 years ago was an "enormous mistake" which the Church should be ashamed of, the Bishop of Truro said yesterday.
In acknowledging the "brutality and stupidity" of the atrocities on behalf of the Church, Bishop Bill Ind tried to heal much of the hurt felt by many Cornish people, who believe the Church of England has long tried to ignore the events of 1549 Prayerbook Rebellion.
In a wide-ranging address at Pelynt Parish Church in South East Cornwall, the man dubbed "The People's Bishop" attempted to draw a line under a moment in history which left one in ten of the Cornish population dead.
Bishop Bill, who was in Pelynt to be presented with the prestigious Trelawny Plate, said: "I am often asked about my attitude to the Prayerbook Rebellion and in my opinion, there is no doubt that the English Government behaved brutally and stupidly and killed many Cornish people. I don't think apologising for something that happened over 500 years ago helps, but I am sorry about what happened and I think it was an enormous mistake."
The Prayerbook Rebellion, sometimes called the Western Rising, was prompted by Edward VI's introduction of a range of legislation, including the use of English in all forms of worship. In Cornwall, where the vast majority of the population spoke only Cornish, the new measures effectively took away the means of worship. When the Cornish protested, English forces responded with a series of massacres. During one notorious incident, 900 bound and gagged prisoners had their throats slit in ten minutes.”
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