From about 1528 onward radical protestants of various kinds from the Low Countries began to seek refuge in England from the pressures of persecution in their homelands. Until the advent of Thomas More as chancellor, persecution in England was sporadic and rather lax. The royal authority had not hitherto been invoked, and the lollards were not commonly of the stuff of martyrs, which induced a certain complacency in the English bishops when faced with the challenges of nascent protestantism. After More’s brief tenure of office was over, persecution under royal auspices continued, but on a very much smaller scale than in the Netherlands, so that the incentive for radicals to come to England, either permanently or temporarily, remained. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of them lived in London, Norwich and other towns of the south-east over the next twenty years. A few, like Jan Mattijs, were burned in England, others, like Anneke Jans, met the same fate on their return home, but many lived and worked peacefully, attracting remarkably little attention. Considering their numbers, and the radical nature of their views, they seem to have made only a very slight impact upon their adopted country. A few Englishmen, like that ‘Henry’ who turned up as the sponsor of the Bocholt meeting in 1536, embraced their ideas wholeheartedly, but for the most part the effect seems to have been extremely piecemeal and diffuse, producing a wide variety of individual eccentricities rather than anything in the nature of a coherent movement. However, the presence of these radicals and their English sympathisers has always served to confuse students of the reformation, not least by appearing to justify contemporary conservative attempts to discredit protestantism as a Tower of Babel.