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Navigation : Home > Visiting > A History of Boughton > George Marsh
Make Font LargerMake Font Smaller George Marsh

George Marsh

A Protestant Martyr
(Born in Deane 1515 - Died in Chester 1555)

George Marsh Memorial George Marsh

George Marsh was the only person martyred in Cheshire under Queen Mary. He was burned at the stake on the 24th April 1555 in Boughton north of Christleton road opposite the Gallows. George Marsh was condemned to burn to death as a heretic by bishop of Chester George Coats at the consistory court in the Cathedral. Which was then housed in the Lady Chapel behind the high altar.

George Marsh was a preacher from near Bolton in an area on the hill above the town called 'Deane'. He went about his way preaching stories from the bible in the villages around Bolton, he was employed by Edward VI in 1547 as a preaching minister. He was a tall man with a cleaver way with words. But during the reign of Queen Mary his preaching's were out of step with the new Catholic ways. He was brought before the authorities, Justice Barton at Smithills Hall. But refused to change his ways. He was imprisoned for a time at Lancaster Castle but people still flocked to his prison cell to hear him preach. He was then moved to Chester to be tried and executed. He was given the change to go free if he became a Catholic. But he refused to do this. He was taken to Boughton to be burned at the stake. He was tied to the stake and a barrel of tar was set above is head to drip on him as he burned. After he was executed his ashes were collected by his friends and buried in St Giles Cemetery nearby.

The Parish Church of Deane in George Marsh's native Bolton.
The Parish Church of Dean in Goerge Marsh's native Bolton

In 1554 George Marsh was questioned at one of Bolton's old Manor Houses.
Click here for more Information on Smithills Hall >>>
Smithills Hall

After his 'examination', it is said that a mark on a flagstone inside the building was made when he stamped his foot on the floor in protest.
Smithills HallSmithills Hall

The trial of George Marsh was held in the Lady Chapel of Chester Cathedral.

Memorial Monument.
The Monument in Boughton

In 1898 Nessie Brown erected an obelisk on the opposite side of the road. Nessie Brown was a member of the influential Brown family of Chester. And lived in the area. The obelisk was moved to the current location after the road was widened. The inscription reads:

George Marsh born Dean Co. Lancaster. To the memory of George Marsh martyr who was burned to death near this spot for the truth sake April 24th 1555. Also John Plessington 19th July 1679. Canonised saint 25th October 1970.

Execution Site
Gallows Hill

Barrel Well Hill
NGS Gardens open for charity
The National Gardens Scheme. 3800 NGS gardens to visit with the best of plants, flowers and garden design (including National Trust). The Monument in Boughton

The Monument
The Monument in Boughton

Flowers are laid out every year on the 24th of April in memory of George Marsh.

The Monument in Boughton

The Monument in Boughton

The Monument in Boughton

The execution site from the River Dee. The area is consecrated ground and has not been built on.
The Boughton Execution Site

St Giles cemetery is the final resting place of his ashes.
St Giles cemetery is the final resting place of his ashes 1
St Giles cemetery is the final resting place of his ashes 2

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