Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London & Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester

16 October -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Martyrs, page 464

Born into a wealthy Northumbrian family in about the year 1500, Nicholas Ridley studied at Cambridge, the Sorbonne and in Louvain. He was chaplain to Thomas Cranmer and master of Pembroke Hall in Cambridge before being made Bishop of Rochester in 1547. He had been clearly drawing closer to the Reformers as early as 1535 and, at the accession of King Edward VI, declared himself a Protestant. He assisted Cranmer in preparing the first Book of Common Prayer and was made Bishop of London in 1550. On the death of Edward, he supported the claims of Lady Jane Grey and was thus deprived of his See on the accession of Mary Tudor. He was excommunicated and executed in 1555.

Hugh Latimer was a Leicestershire man, also educated at Cambridge but fifteen years older than Nicholas Ridley. Hugh was articulate and yet homely in his style of preaching, which made him very popular in the university, and he received its commission to preach anywhere in England. He became a close adviser of King Henry VIII after the latter's rift with the papacy and was appointed Bishop of Worcester in 1535. He lost the king's favour in 1540, over his refusal to sign Henry's 'Six Articles', designed to prevent the spread of Reformation doctrines, and resigned his See. He returned to favour on the accession of Edward VI but was imprisoned in the Tower of London when Queen Mary ascended the throne in 1553. He refused to recant any of his avowedly reformist views and was burnt at the stake, together with Nicholas Ridley, on this day in 1555.