Oxford Martyrs

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Oxford Martyrs
The burning of Latimer and Ridley, from the Book of Martyrs by John Foxe (1563)
Died1555 and 1556, Oxford, England
Means of martyrdomBurned at the stake
Venerated inAnglican Communion
FeastOctober 16

The Oxford Martyrs were Protestants tried for heresy in 1555 and burnt at the stake in Oxford, England, for their religious beliefs and teachings, during the Marian persecution in England.[1]

The three martyrs were the Church of England bishops Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury.[1]


The Martyrs' Memorial, Oxford, completed in 1843

The three were tried at University Church of St Mary the Virgin, the official church of the University of Oxford on the High Street, Oxford. The men were imprisoned at the former Bocardo Prison near the extant St Michael at the North Gate church (at the north gate of the city walls) in Cornmarket Street. The door of their cell is on display in the tower of the church.[1]

The men were burnt at the stake just outside the city walls to the north, where Broad Street is now located. Latimer and Ridley were burnt on 16 October 1555 for denying the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Cranmer was burnt five months later on 21 March 1556.[2]

A small area paved with granite setts forming a cross in the centre of the road outside the front of Balliol College marks the site.[2][3] The Victorian spire-like Martyrs' Memorial, at the south end of St Giles' nearby, commemorates the events.

In literature[edit]

Lydia Sigourney's poem "Latimer and Ridley". was published in her 1827 collection of poetry.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "The Oxford Martyrs". Britain Express. Retrieved 18 May 2023.
  2. ^ a b "The martyrs' cross". Broad Street, Oxford. Oxford History. Retrieved 18 May 2023.
  3. ^ "Martyrs' Cross". Morris Oxford. Retrieved 18 May 2023.