Who was Nicholas Ridley?
Nicholas Ridley was a cleric and Oxford martyr
who was burnt at the stake in the sixteenth century for his beliefs.
Date and Place of Birth:
1503, South Tynedale, Northumberland, England.
Ridley was the son of Protestant parents.
Cambridge University. Universities of Paris and
Chronology/Biography of Nicholas
Chaplain to Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury
and King Henry the Eighth.
1540: Becomes Master
of Pembroke College, Oxford.
1547: Becomes Bishop
1550: Nicholas Ridley
becomes Bishop of London. He was an outspoken performer and helped
Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury prepare the “Thirty
1553: 16th July.
Preached at Paul’s cross on the Death of the young King Edward the
Sixth. He denounced both Mary and Elizabeth, daughters of Henry
the Eighth, as being illegitimate and described Mary as a Papist.
The crowd shouted him down. On the failure of the plot to place
Lady Jane Grey on the Throne, the Catholic Mary succeeded as Queen
and he was imprisoned.
Memorial in St Giles, Oxford commemorating the Oxford Martyrs.
(© Anthony Blagg)
1554: April. Cranmer,
Latimer and Ridley were taken from the Tower of London to Oxford
to take part in a theological “discussion” about “transubstantiation”
with Catholic theologians in the Divinity School of the University.
The presiding Prolocutor Weston condemned them as heretics despite
their brave intellectual defence. 2nd May. The Privy Council to
the Queen discussed burning them but the Heresy Act of 1401 and
Henry the Eighth’s Statutes about burning heretics had been repealed
by King Edward the Sixth. A new bill to restore the Act was eventually
passed by the House of Commons but not the House of Lords. October.
The three were tried again and again condemned to death as Protestant
heretics by a commission acting under the authority of Cardinal
Pole the Papal Legate to England.
Date and Place of Death:
16th October 1555. Burned at the Stake next to
Balliol College, Oxford, England.
Age at Death:
Site of Grave:
Ashes scattered after execution.
Cross marking the spot in Broad Street, Oxford
where Ridley was burnt at the stake.
(© Anthony Blagg)
Places of Interest: