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Gothic cross - 1838

Gothic Cross memorializing three English Protestant martyrs.


In 1555, Mary Tudor’s Catholic government burned bishops Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer to death across from the main entrance of Balliol College on Horsemonger Street (now Broad Street). In 1556, Mary sent Archbishop Thomas Cranmer to the same death. Early in the nineteenth century, historian James Anthony Froude wrote a work downplaying the martyrdoms of these three leading English Reformers. On this day 15 November 1838 a group of Protestants responded by calling for the erection of a monument to memorialize the men. Work was not completed until 1841. The memorial was built in the form of a gothic cross. The inscription on the cross reads in part:


“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.”


Inscription on the gothic cross erected in Oxford, England, on this date, 1838.

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