Latimer, Hugh


Latimer, Hugh
born с 1485, Thurcaston, Leicestershire, Eng.
died Oct. 16, 1555, Oxford

English Protestant martyr.

The son of a prosperous yeoman farmer, he was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he came into contact with the doctrines of Martin Luther and converted to Protestantism. He supported Henry VIII's attempt to obtain a marriage annulment but was later excommunicated for refusing to accept the existence of purgatory or the need to venerate saints. He made a complete submission and briefly served as bishop of Worcester (1535–39). Again imprisoned on suspicion of heresy, he was freed with the accession of Edward VI, during whose brief reign he preached extensively. On Mary I's accession and the subsequent reversion to Catholicism, he was arrested for treason and burned at the stake.

* * *

▪ English Protestant
born c. 1485, , Thurcaston, Leicestershire, Eng.
died Oct. 16, 1555, Oxford
 English Protestant who advanced the cause of the Reformation in England through his vigorous preaching and through the inspiration of his martyrdom.

      Latimer was the son of a prosperous yeoman farmer. Educated at the University of Cambridge, he was ordained a priest about 1510. In the two decades before 1530 he gradually acquired a reputation as a preacher at Cambridge. At first he subscribed to orthodox Roman Catholicism, but in 1525 he came into contact with a group of young Cambridge divines who were influenced by Martin Luther's new doctrines. He attributed his conversion to Protestantism to the ministrations of the group's spiritual leader, Thomas Bilney. After gaining royal favour by speaking out in support of the efforts of King Henry VIII to obtain an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Latimer received the benefice of West Kington, Wiltshire, in 1531. He soon befriended two rising Reformers: Thomas Cromwell (Cromwell, Thomas, Earl of Essex, Baron Cromwell of Okeham), who was to become the king's chief minister, and the future archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer. Such powerful backers, however, could not protect him from accusations of heretical preachings. Before investigators Latimer refused in January 1532 to subscribe to certain articles of faith such as the existence of purgatory and the need to venerate saints. Consequently, he was excommunicated and imprisoned until he made a complete submission (April 1532).

      Nevertheless, thanks to Cromwell's influence, Latimer was elevated in 1535 to the bishopric of Worcester. By 1536 he was generally regarded as one of the Reform leaders, even though there is no sign that he played any part in the various attempts of those years to introduce changes in church doctrine. As a result of a temporary reaction in England in favour of orthodox Catholicism, Latimer was forced to resign his see in 1539, and, upon the sudden fall of Cromwell in July 1540, he lost his main support at court.

      For the remainder of Henry's reign Latimer existed in the shadows. Apparently he incurred suspicion of heresy at intervals and spent some time in the Tower of London, where he was incarcerated during the last few months before the accession of the boy king Edward VI in January 1547. The new regime, with its rapid advance toward Protestantism, gave Latimer a chance to exercise his talents. He refused to resume his bishopric, because he wanted to be free to preach without fear or favour. His sermons attracted large crowds and were often patronized by the court. But because of his success in popularizing the idea of the Reformation, Latimer was immediately marked for proscription when the Catholic Mary Tudor ascended the throne. In September 1553 he was arrested on charges of treason; taken to Oxford for trial, he was burned there with the Reformer Nicholas Ridley (Ridley, Nicholas) on Oct. 16, 1555. At the stake Latimer immortalized himself by exhorting his fellow victim Ridley with the words “we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England as I trust shall never be put out.”

Additional Reading
Harold S. Darby, Hugh Latimer (1953); Allan G. Chester, Hugh Latimer, Apostle to the English (1954, reprinted 1978).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Latimer, Hugh — (c. 1485–1555)    Bishop and Martyr.    Latimer was born in Leicestershire and was educated at the University of Cambridge. He was consecrated Bishop of Worcester in 1535, having advised King Henry VIII during the break with Rome. However, as a… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Latimer,Hugh — Lat·i·mer (lătʹə mər), Hugh. 1485? 1555. English prelate who refused to recant his Protestantism after the accession of Mary I, a Catholic, and was executed for heresy. * * * …   Universalium

  • Latimer, Hugh — ( 1485, Thurcaston, Leicestershire, Inglaterra–16 oct. 1555, Oxford). Mártir protestante inglés. Hijo de un próspero pequeño terrateniente, se educó en la Universidad de Cambridge, donde entró en contacto con las doctrinas de Martín Lutero y se… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • LATIMER, HUGH —    Bishop of Worcester, born near Leicester; studied at Cambridge, and entered the Church, but soon adopted the Reformed doctrines, gained the favour of Henry VIII. by approving of his divorce, and was appointed bishop; by his labours in… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Latimer, Hugh — (1485 1555)    Reformer and divine, s. of a Leicestershire yeoman, went to Camb. in 1500, and became Fellow of Clare Hall. Taking orders, he was at first a defender of the ancient faith, but convinced by the arguments of Bilney, embraced the… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Hugh Latimer — (* ca. 1485/1492 in Thurcaston, Leicestershire; † 16. Oktober 1555 in Oxford) war Bischof von Worcester und ein anglikanischer Märtyrer. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hugh Latimer — Latimer prêchant dev …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hugh Latimer — (c. 1485 October 16, 1555) was the bishop of Worcester, and by his death he became a famous martyr among Protestants and the Church of England.Latimer was born into a family of farmers in Thurcaston, Leicestershire. From around 14 years of age he …   Wikipedia

  • Hugh Latimer — El o …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hugh Latimer — [Hugh Latimer] (c. 1485–1555) an English bishop who became one of the leading figures of the ↑Reformation in England. When ↑Mary I became queen he opposed her Catholic policies and was executed in Oxford by being burned, together with …   Useful english dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.