From A complete parochial history of the county of Cornwall edited by Joseph Polsue
At Northcott, in this parish, temp. Queen Mary, lived Agnes Prest, but where born, or what her maiden name was, is to me unknown, whose merit challengeth to be recorded in this place, as being the only martyr that suffered death for the Protestant religion in the diocese of Exon during the said Queen's reign. She is described by Holinshed, Vowell, alias Hooker, and by Fuller from them, to be a contemptible woman in respect of her person, (as S. Paul was for a man) little and short of stature, and of a brownish complexion. She was indicted, as Mr. Vowell says, at Launceston in this county, upon Monday the fourth week in Lent, the 2nd and 3rd of Philip and Mary, before the grand Jury there assembled. The matter suggested in the Bill was: " For that she denied the fieal Presence in the sacrament of the altar; and for saying the same was but a sign and figure of Christ's body; and that no Christian doth cat the body of Christ carnally, but spiritually." The evidence against her were her own husband and children; from whom she fled, for that they would compel her by force, to be present at the celebration of mass. Notwithstanding upon their testimonies the bill was found, and endorsed, " Billa vera." Whereupon she came to her trial before William Stanford, then justice of Assize, (probably he that wrote the Pleas of the Crown,) where, upon a full hearing of the case, the petty jury also found her guilty on the testimony aforesaid; after which she was presented to James Turberville, Bishop of Exeter, for further examination on the premises, but she persisting in her former opinion, was by him condemned as a heretic.
After her condemnation, she refused to receive any money from well disposed people, that formerly relieved her, saying she was going to that City where money had no mastery. Soon after she was delivered over to the secular power to be burnt, to Robert Cary, of Cockington, Esqr., then Sheriff of Devonshire, or to his under-Sheriff, who saw her executed at Southernhay, without the walls of Exon, in the 54th year of her age, and in the month of November, 1558. This was the only person in whose persecution Bishop Turberville did appear, in matters of religion during the time he sat in that see, (consecrated Sept. 8,1555, deprived in January, 1560.) and, as Dr. Fuller saith, her death was procured more by the violence of Blackstone, the Chancellor, than by any persecution of the Bishop.