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daughter of sir William Askew, of Kelsay, in Lincolnshire, knight, was

, daughter of sir William Askew, of Kelsay, in Lincolnshire, knight, was born in 1529. She received a liberal and learned education, and manifested in early life a predilection for theological studies. Her eldest sister, after having been contracted in marriage to the son of Mr. Kyme, of Lincolnshire, died before the nuptials were completed. Her father, on this event, unwilling to lose a connection which promised pecuniary advantages, compelled his second daughter Anne, notwithstanding her reluctance, to become the wife of Mr. Kyme, a marriage which probably laid the foundation of her future misfortunes. Her husband was a bigoted Roman Catholic, while she, by studying the scriptures and the opinions of the reformers, became a convert, which so disgusted him that he turned her out of doors. Conceiving herself, by this treatment, at liberty to sue for a separation, she came to London, where she was favourably received by some of the ladies of the court, and by the queen, who secretly favoured the reformed religion. But at length she was accused, by her husband and the priests, of holding heretical opinions respecting the sacrament and, in 1545, was apprehended, and repeatedly examined by Christopher Dare, the lord mayor, the bishops, chancellor, and others, to whose questions she replied in a firm, easy, and unconstrained manner, and even with some degree of wit and ridicule. She was then committed to prison for eleven days, and prohibited from any communication with her friends. During this confinement, she employed herself in composing prayers and meditations, and in fortifying her resolution to endure the trial of her principles.