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Magdalen Street / St. Giles'

The Martyr's Memorial

Henry Weekes

Oxford /  The Martyr's Memorial   Oxford /  The Martyr's Memorial


Victorian Gothic memorial, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, with three stone statues of the protestant martyrs, who were burnt at the stake in Broad Street, Oxford, for their belief in the Protestant Faith in 1555 and 1556:

Oxford - The Martyr's Memorial
t. cranmer
Thomas Cranmer (1489 - 1556), leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury, 1553-1555 (Wikipedia), facing north holding the Bible.
Oxford - The Martyr's Memorial
n. ridley
Nicholas Ridley, (c. 1500 - 1555), Bishop of London and Westminster, 1550-1553 (Wikipedia), facing east.
Oxford - The Martyr's Memorial
h. latimer
Hugh Latimer, (c. 1487 -1555), Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and Bishop of Worcester (Wikipedia), with his arms crossed and head bowed westwards.

Around the monument are coat of arms. Descriptions courtesy of Ruth Swan (April 2019).

Oxford - The Martyr's Memorial
Left: coat of arms of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Right: coat of arms of Thomas Cranmer
Oxford - The Martyr's Memorial
Left: a fairly common gravestone emblem of crossed torches signifying eternal life
Right: unsure, could be crossed palm leaves a symbol of victory and, on a grave, symbolises victory of the spirit over the physical body
Oxford - The Martyr's Memorial
Left: coat of arms of the Bishop of Worcester
Right: coat of arms of Hugh Latimer, with the addition of a band with the fleur de lis representing the resurrection - the three petals signify the Holy Trinity
Oxford - The Martyr's Memorial
Left: a representation of Cranmer's bible with the text: 'The Byble in Englysh authorised Maye MDXLI'.
Right: a cup or possibly a communion goblet often represents the forgiveness of sin
Oxford - The Martyr's Memorial
Left: coat of arms of the Bishop of London
Right: a rough representation of the coat of arms of the city of Oxford – the ox is crossing over a ford
Oxford - The Martyr's Memorial
Left: a wreath symbolising memory and also victory over death
Right: a crown representing the crown of life


To the glory of god
and in grateful commemoration
of his servants
thomas cranmer
nicholas ridley
hugh latimer
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
to them it was given
not only to believe in christ
but also to suffer for his sake
this monument was erected
by public subscription
in the year of our lord god


Sources & Information


  • Country: Great Britain
  • Bishop
  • Coat of arms
  • Cranmer, Thomas
  • Latimer, Hugh
  • Ridley, Nicholas
  • Statue (man)
  • Weekes, Henry
  • Location (N 51°45'18" - W 1°15'32")

    Via the links below you can find the position:

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    OpenStreetMap map
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    WikiMapia map

    Item Code: gbse131; Photograph: 18 October 2015  / updated: 18 April 2019
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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