Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

16 October 1555 A.D. Bishops Ridley and Latimer—Faithful Unto Death (Burned at Stake)

16 October 1555 A.D.  Bishops Ridley and Latimer—Faithful Unto Death (Burned at Stake)

Dr. Rusten tells the story from his perspective.

Rusten, E. Michael and Rusten, Sharon. The One Year Christian History. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003.  Available at:

Matthew 24. 13, despite the horrors of the Anglo-Italian IOOs.

In 1534, Henry VIII sovereignly made himself the Head and Governor of the Church of England.  He became the English Pope.  If that conclusion does not obtain, then he made the Archbishop of Canterbury an English Pope.  It’s debatable and arguable.  But this much, the Pope’s wings were clipped in England.  It did not bode well for the future since England would, in time, become a Protestant bastion of Reformed theology—at least until the Hillbilly or Goatbilly of Canterbury, Laud.  But, Reformed theology dominated well into the 17th century even after the Goatbilly.

Cranmer made Latimer a royal chaplain.  Latimer had become a Christian upon the counsel of another Biblical Churchman and after such counsel. Cranmer made Ridley his own chaplain.  Both Latimer and Ridley were in development.  As the years passed, both became more Reformed in theology.

In the late 1530s, the 400-lb. Tyrant with a 58-inch waist, Henry VIII, gave his unwitting support for a publishing of an English Bible for 9000 English parishes.  It was a Tyndale-Coverdale edition.  Cromwell and Cranmer may have known the origins of such, but the confusion continues.  What did the English fat-cat know?   Meanwhile, Cranmer was pressing for an English liturgy.

As the Cow aged, he became more tyrannical.  Although the Six Articles passed, forcing Miles Coverdale’s departure from England and Latimer’s resignation, yet, after one year, the 400-lb. Tub suspended enforcement of the Six Articles.

Henry VIII met his Maker in 1547.  His son, Edward VI, acceded to the throne in 1547.  Cranmer pressed his advantages and was influential.  Latimer was busy preaching twice per Sabbath.

But, the principalities and powers of the air prevailed for a while.  Edward VI died.  A puppet Queen, Mary 1, acceded to the throne and replaced Reformed bishops with IOO-Anglo-Italian  clerks.

On 16 October 1555 A.D., Latimer and Ridley, having been tried and convicted, were led from their prison to the burning-stakes.

Latimer famously said to 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.”  Cranmer watched their burning from a nearside window where he was being held prisoner.

Has that candle been extinguished in England by liberalism and the TFOs?  Secularism? And more?

Cranmer was degraded publicly in a formal ceremony.  That is, the symbols of Canterburian rule were physically removed from him.  After his degradation, he was returned to jail.  He was offered chances to recant; he did.  Anti-christ Mary and the IOOs, however, were losing the PR war. Cranmer recanted.

But, upon the platform and before death, Cranmer declared, “As for the pope, I refused him, as Christ’s enemy and Anti-christ with all his false doctrine.” Cranmer was pulled from the platform.  He ran to the stake.  He died bravely, a Protestant, Reformed, Confessional, Creedal and liturgical Churchman.


  1. What has changed since 1555 and 1556?  Is the leader of the Roman-outfit any less an Antichrist?  With his false gospel of Trent?  Where are the Englishmen and the Church of England on this in 2014?
  2. What of Newman’s view of these English Reformers? Keble and Pusey?
  3. Willy Grimbag, Anglican Province of America?
  4. Willingness of the REC to unite with the APA?
  5. AMiA, LACNA and continueers re: English Reformed theology?
  6. Mr. Welby, Canterbury, and his views?
  7. Speaking of hope and the future, e.g. Latimer’s statement to Ridley, how does that relate to eschatology, the inter-regnum state of believers, fidelity and future hopes? 


Atkinson, James. The Great Light: Luther and the Reformation.  Vol. 4 of The Advance of Christianity through the Centuries. Edited by F.F. Bruce. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1968. 193-221.

Breward, I. “Cranmer, Thomas.” WWCH. 179-80.

Durant. The Reformation. 523-601.

Petty, P.W. “Edward VI (1537-1553.” NIDCC. 333-4.

Pollard, Noel S. “Cranmer, Thomas (1489-1556).” NIDCC. 269-70.

Steer. Guarding the Holy Fire. 22-40.

Toon, P. “Latimer, Hugh.” WWCH. 413.

-------“Mary Tudor.” WWCH. 460-1.

-------“Ridley, Nicholas.” WWCH. 589-90.

Williamson. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. 290-315.

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