Martyrs Memorial

Oxford, United Kingdom

Martyrs Memorial


The Martyrs' Memorial is a stone monument positioned at the intersection of St Giles', Magdalen Street and Beaumont Street, to the west of Balliol College, Oxford, England. It commemorates the 16th-century Oxford Martyrs.

The monument was built 300 years after the events of the English Reformation and commemorates the Bishop of Worcester, Hugh Latimer, and Bishop of London, Nicholas Ridley, who were burned nearby on 16 October 1555 after having been convicted for heresy because of their Protestant beliefs after a quick trial. It also commemorates the former archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, who was similarly executed (after having watched his colleagues' painful deaths while imprisoned in a nearby tower and the Vatican having permitted his degradation from holy orders in February) on 21 March 1556. The Rev. Charles Pourtales Golightly (a descendant of Huguenots who fled to England in that earlier era) and other Anglican clergy raised the funds to erect the monument during the Victorian era. They opposed the 19th-century Oxford Movement (also known as the Tractarian Movement), led by John Keble, John Henry Newman and others. Golightly and his colleagues were alarmed at the Anglo-Catholic realignment the movement was bringing into the Church of England, and wanted the memorial to reflect the university's Protestant profession and anti-Catholic tradition.

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