Biography of Hugh Latimer

Hugh Latimer

Hugh Latimer was a sixteenth century cleric and one of the Oxford Martyrs.

When and Where was he Born?

1485, Thurcaston, Leicestershire, England.

Family Background:

Hugh Latimer was the son of a yeoman farmer.


Clare College, Cambridge University.

Timeline of Hugh Latimer:

1510: He was elected a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge.

1512: Latimer ordained as a priest.

1522: He was appointed a University Preacher at Cambridge and converted thereafter to Protestantism.

1534: He defended King Henry the Eight’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon.

1535: He was made Chaplain to Anne Boleyn and Rector of West Kington in Wiltshire. Created Bishop of Worcester.

Oxfrod Martyr Memorial
Memorial in St Giles, Oxford commemorating the Oxford Martyrs. (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1536: Resigned his See after the passing of the King’s “Six Articles”. Effectively imprisoned until the death of the King and the accession of his son facing actual prison in 1546.

1539: At the opening of the Convocation he preached powerfully in favour of the Reformation.

1547: Accession of King Edward the Sixth. Hugh Latimer was released but continued to preach against the many abuses of the church and clergy as he saw them. His sermons were noted for their vivid deliveries.

1553: After the accession of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary he declined to defend himself against a trial and also refused to recant his Protestantism. After the show trial he was burnt at the stake with his fellow martyr Nicholas Ridley.

When and Where did he Die?

16th October 1555. Burned at the stake next to Balliol College, Oxford, England.

Age at Death:


Written Works:

1548: “A Notable Sermon Preached at St. Paul’s Cathedral”.
1549: “Seven Sermons Preached before the King”.
1562: “Twenty-Seven Sermons”.
1571: “Fruitful Sermons”.


Never married.

Site of Grave:

None. Ashes swept away from site of execution.

Oxford Martyrs Cross
Cross marking the spot in Broad Street, Oxford 
where Latimer and Ridley were burnt at the stake.
 (copyright  Anthony Blagg)

Places of Interest:


Balliol College, Oxford.
St Mary’s Oxford.
Broad Street, Oxford.


Worcester Cathedral.