And now we come to the strangest skirmish of all in the battle for the reformation of the church. Enter one Martin Marprelate, Gentleman, a character of fiction in a sense, but one whose works or rather, whose writings, were real enough. Marprelate? A name conjured up from the two words mar and prelate. Mar, to ruin, to impair the perfection of, to spoil, to disfigure. Prelate, a high ecclesiastical dignitary, such as a bishop. Hence, Marprelate, one who spoils, disfigures or impairs the perfection of bishops and other Church bigwigs. Who was Martin Marprelate, Gentleman? Ah, who indeed? Nobody ever found out. The general opinion at the time, the received view, was that he was John Penry. He always denied it. Granted that, it all depends on what question he was asked, does it not? Whether Penry was Martin or not was never proved. In any case, proof did not matter. Suspicion was enough for Archbishop Whitgiftâ€™s purpose. Somebody had to pay. That somebody was John Penry. He was hanged.