The legacy of Rowland Taylor is found through the power of his words (i.e., blessings) he spoke upon his children and his posterity.
The descendants of Dr. Rowland and Margaret Taylor are often found to be of the most godly and noble of character and spirit. The presence of Christ is very often found in the Taylor-line, some 20+ centuries later. His legacy ha sprofoundly shaped Christendom and even America.
Here are some direct descendants from Rowland Taylor that have shaped American history and life: Col. James Taylor, II (b. 1674), Col. George Taylor (b. 1710), Zachary Taylor (12th President of the United States), President James Madison, Gen. James Taylor (b. 1769) and Frances Jane Taylor (b. 1762). There are hundreds of other not-so-well-known Taylor descendants who continue to carry the torch of faithfulnesss to Christ even almost 500 years after Rowland taylor was burnt at the stake.
The legacy of Rowland Taylor in words . . . . .
Rowland Taylor spoke these words to his son Thomas just hours before his death:
“Almighty God bless thee, and give you his Holy Spirit, to be a true servant of Christ, to learn his word, and constantly to stand by his truth all the life long. And my son, see that thou fear God always. Fly from all sin and wicked living. Be virtuous, serve God daily with prayer, and apply thy boke [unsure what ‘boke’ is]. In anywise see thou be obedient to thy mother, love her, and serve her. Be ruled by her now in thy youth, and follow her good counsel in all things. Beware of lewd company of young men, that fear not God, but followeth their lewd lusts and vain appetites. Flee from whoredom, and hate all filthy lying, remembering that I they father do die in the defense of holy marriage [Taylor was condemned for teaching that a Priest could marry]. And another day when God shall bless thee, love and cherish the poor people, and count that thy chief riches to be rich in alms. And when thy mother is waxed old, forsake her not, but provide for her to thy power, and see that she lacks nothing. For so will God bless thee, give thee long life upon earth, and prosperity, which I pray God to grant thee.”
Friends of Rowland Taylor’s tried to convince him to flee London and spare his life own life. In response to such advice Dr. Taylor said:
“God shall well hereafter raise up teachers of his people, which shall with much more diligence and fruit teach them than I have done . . . . . I shall never be able to do God so good service, as I may do now; nor I shall never have so glorious a calling as I now have, nor so great mercy of God profitted me, as is now at this present.” Dr. Taylor was burnt at the stake, at the hands of Queen Mary of Tudor – Bloody Mary – within a couple days of this statement.”
And in another place we see Dr. Taylor unafraid to face his accusers who had the power to kill his body:
“And although I know, that there is neither iustice nor truth to be looked for at my adversaries hands, but rather imprisonment and cruel death: yet know I my cause to be so good and righteous, and the truth so strong upon my side, that I will by God’s grace go and appear before them and to their beards resist their false doingss.
Dr. Rowland Taylor was imprisoned several times for lengthy periods, and separated from his large family, prior to his death in February 1555. He found the prisons to be quite a fruitful ground for the Gospel. Queen Mary put so many believers in Christ in prison that . . .
“. . . . almost all the prisons in England were become the right Christian Schools, and churches, prisons turned into churches and churches into dens of theives.” – John Foxe writing about Rowland Taylor’s experiences in prison in Suffolk, England.
As Taylor neared the time of his death he wrote these words, most likely in prison:
“God be praised, even from the bottom of my heart, I am unmoveably settled upon the Rock, nothing doubting, but thay my dear God will perform, and finish the work, that he hath begun in me, and other, to Him be all honor bot now and ever through Christ our only and whole Savior.”
John Foxe – Foxe’s Book of Martyrs – describes the kind of man Rowland Taylor was:
Not only was his word a preaching unto them, but all his life and conversation was an example of unfeigned Christian life, and true holiness. He was void of all pride, humble, and meek as any child: so that none were so poor, but they might boldly, as unto their father, resort unto him, neither was his lowliness childish or fearful: but as occasion, time, and place required, he would be stout in rebuking the sinful, and evil doers: so that none was so rich, but he would tell him plainly his fault, with such earnest and grave rebukes as became a good Curate and Pastor. He was a ma very mild, void of all rancor, grudge, or evil will, ready to do good to all men, readily forgoing his enemies, and never sought to do evil to any.