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Biography of Hugh Latimer

Portrait of 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 is elected a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge.

1512: Latimer is ordained as a priest.

1522: He is appointed a University Preacher at Cambridge and converts thereafter to Protestantism.

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

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

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

1536: He resigns his See after the passing of the King’s “Six Articles” and is effectively imprisoned until the death of the King and the accession of his son Edward.

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

1546: He is placed in prison.

1547: At the accession of King Edward the Sixth Hugh Latimer is released but he continues to preach against the many abuses of the church and clergy as he saw them. His sermons are noted for their vivid deliveries.

1553: After the accession of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary he declines to defend himself against a trial and also refuses to recant his Protestantism. After the show trial he is 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.