The reek of Mr. Patrick Hamilton has infected as many as it did blow upon, i.e. Patrick Hamilton was burnt to death by Cardinal Beaton, and the horror of the deed contributed not a little to the Reformation. As the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church, so the smoke or reek of Hamilton's fire diffused the principles for which he suffered (1504-1528).
Latimer, at the stake, said: “We shall this day light up such a candle in England as shall never be put out.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894