Hugh Latimer

Hugh Latimer was born in a poor family in England somewhere between 1480 and 1494. He attended Cambridge University and became a priest. At some point in his life he accepted the Reformed doctrine and became one of the leaders of the movement in England. King Henry VII made him one of his chaplains. He preached boldly before the king and his court, and even rebuked the king in his sermons. He said to the king, “Would you have me preach nothing concerning a king in the king’s sermon?”1 Eventually after a time there he decided to leave the court and go to his parish, which he did. He was a great preacher, a powerful orator, and he effected many people through his preaching. He was appointed bishop of Worcester by the king, but he resigned years later after he opposed the king’s Catholic false doctrine. The king threw him into prison until he died, and then his son Edward released him and he continued to preach. However when Bloody Mary came to the throne, she tried him for his beliefs and he was burned on October 16th, 1555 along with two other leaders of the English Reformation, Thomas Cranmer and Nicholas Ridley. As he was about to be burnt, he said to Nicholas Ridley, “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”2

1 J. H. Merle D’Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 2000) vol. 3, book vi, p. 51
2 John Foxe. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (New York: Eaton & Mains, 1911) p. 309