Edmund Bonner

Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London 1539-1547 and again 1553-1559, was buried in the churchyard of St. George’s in 1569, and it is said his ghost still haunts the church. A staunch Catholic during the period of the English Reformation, Bonner fought against the tide of Protestantism rolling across England in the period. Deprived of his see under Edward VI in 1547, after resisting official visitation, he was a leading opponent in Parliament of both the Act of Supremacy and the Book of Common Prayer. When both became law in 1549, Bonner refused to enforce them in his see. After the restoration of Catholicism under Mary I, Bonner was re-established as Bishop of London. He is strongly associated with the persecution and eradication of Protestantism during her reign. With her death, England once again veered towards Protestantism under Elizabeth I. After Bonner’s refusal to take the oath of the Act of Supremacy in 1559, Bonner was imprisoned in the Marshalsea prison, in the vicinity of St. George the Martyr. On 5th September 1569, he died in the Marshalsea and was buried at midnight in the churchyard of St. George the Martyr.