Wikimedia Commons Joan of Arc’s Death at the Stake by Hermann Stilke. John Foxe was unusual among intellectuals at the time in thinking that burning people to death for their opinions was not an altogether commendable idea. German, 1843. A former Bishop of Worcester, he was later an influential preacher and chaplain in London and at Edward VI’s court. In 1554 Mary married the future Phillip II of Spain, further reducing her popularity among her subjects. First, in 1681, a slave named Maria tried to kill her owner by setting his house on fire. Four centuries ago today, on February 16, 1600, the Roman Catholic Church executed Giordano Bruno, Italian philosopher and scientist, for the crime of heresy. Mary earned her nickname "Bloody Mary" as a result of nearly 300 Protestant leaders suffering this fate after refusing to renounce their religion. Protestantism was declared heresy with its practitioners subject to burning at the stake. Hugh Latimer was about seventy when he went to the stake. Hermitage Museum. Coming to the stake with a cheerful countenance and willing mind, he put off his garments with haste, and stood upright in his shirt: and bachelor of divinity, named Elye, of Brazen-nose college, labored to convert him to his former recantation, with the two Spanish friars. Death by burning (also known as immolation) is an execution method involving combustion or exposure to extreme heat. It is believed that this is the manner in which St Joan of Arc was burnt. She was convicted of arson and burned at the stake at Roxbury, Massachusetts. 8 Burning. Treason, heresy, and witchcraft were among the crimes for which this choice of capital punishment was most often used. The best known type of executions of death by burning is when the condemned is bound to a large wooden stake (this is usually called burning at the stake, or in some cases, auto-da-fé), but other forms of death resulting from exposure to extreme heat are known. Burning at the stake was a form of execution practiced at least as far back as Babylonia and ancient Israel. Burning at the Stake was normally done in one of two ways. In Massachusetts, there are two known cases of burning at the stake. Joan of Arc didn’t set out to become a martyr. In the first, the victim would be lead to the center of a wall of sticks and straw and tied to the stake, after which the space between the criminal and the wall would be filled with wood – concealing the person. But as she faced death at the hands of her persecutors in the English-occupied town of Rouen, she must have come to accept that unenviable honor. Death by fire was a slow and excruciating execution.