cross in Broad Street OxfordOn this day in history, 16th October 1555, during the reign of Mary I, Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, and Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, were burnt at the stake for heresy in Oxford.

Ridley and Latimer, along with Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, who was burnt at the stake on 21st March 1556, are known as the Oxford Martyrs. Their lives and deaths are commemorated in Oxford by Martyrs’ Memorial, a stone monument just outside Balliol College, and a cross of stones set into the road in Broad Street which marks the site of their burnings.

Click here to read more about Bishops Latimer and Ridley, and martyrologist John Foxe’s account of their deaths.

Also on this day in history, on 16th October 1532, while Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII were lodged in Calais, the Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Derby and a group of gentleman met with “the great mayster of Fraunce” and his men at the English Pale, six miles outside of Calais. This meeting was to plan where Henry VIII would meet Francis I. After the meeting, the two groups rode back to Calais, where they dined with Henry VIII. The purpose of the trip to Calais was for Henry and Anne to gain Francis I’s public recognition and approval of their relationship. Henry wanted Francis to then meet with the Pope and push the case for the annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

Images: © Copyright Bill Nicholls and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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