Victims of Queen Mary's attempts to restore Catholicism as the state religion of England, the three prominent Protestant church leaders: Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, Nicholas Ridley, Archbishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, were burnt at the stake in 1555 and 1556 for their 'heresies'. Summoned to appear before a commission in the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford, they admitted to disbelief in transubstantiation and were thus found guilty and sentenced to death. The actual site of the burning is marked by an iron cross set in the pavement outside Balliol College. And if you visit the college, pay attention to the doors hung between its quads, which were scorched by the flames from the pyre. Archbishop Cranmer, who had been given more time to appeal, was actually forced to watch the terrible death of his colleagues. He himself was to die at the stake just a few months later. The cost of the hundred wood faggots and fifty furze faggots that formed his living pyre was added to the expenses that the new Archbishop of Canterbury had to pay to the city Bailiffs for 'dealing' with the three martyrs.
The Victorian Gothic Memorial, commemorating their tragic death was erected in 1843. It was designed by George Gilbert Scott and the sculptor was Henry Weekes.
This memorial is dedicated to three Protestants who were burned at the stake in the 16th century for rejecting the Catholic faith. This was under the reign of Queen Mary I, known as Bloody Mary. Her father, King Henry VIII, had established the Church of England. But Mary was determined to restore England to Catholicism, whatever the price.
Designed by Gilbert Scott, it commemorates martyrs named Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley. It stands on St Giles Square, where an annual fair is held in September.
A memorial commemorating the burning of three protestant bishops at the stake in the 16th Century. Its a good spot to meet up with people since its a relatively prominent landmark, the buses stop nearby and there are of places to sit and wait.
The recently restored Martyrs' memorial, at the southern tip of St. Giles, is dedicated to the martyrs Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer, all of whom were burned at the stake in 1555 for their religious beliefs.
When Lyra gets off the bus, she remarks on things that are changed from her familiar Oxford. She can hardly fail to have noticed this very striking Gothic monument close to the crossroads, but she doesn't remark on it. But it can't have been there in her Oxford!
The memorial commemorates Hugh Latimer, one-time Bishop of Worcester, and Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, who were burned at the stake in St Giles on 16 October 1555 for heresy. Ridley and Latimer were contemporaries of John Calvin and followers of his teachings. But Calvin was Pope in Lyra's universe - so they would hardly have been considered heretical for espousing his views. Now would they?
Whoopsie, Mr Pullman!
To the glory of God.
And in grateful Commemoration of his servants
Prelates of the church of England, Who near this spot. Yielded their bodies to be burned. Bearing witness to the sacred truths which they had affirmed and maintained against the errors of the church of Rome. And rejoicing that it was given , not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for his sake.
WAS ERECTED BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION.
IN THE YEAR OF THE LORD
Inscription on Martyrs' Memorial, Oxford.
Cranmer was the first Protestant bishop of Canterbury; Ridley was bishop of London, and Latimer was bishop of Worcester.