Ridley House was named in honour of Bishop Nicholas Ridley 1500-55, a leading Protestant theologian of the sixteenth century.
One of the celebrated ‘Oxford martyrs’, Ridley played a significant role in shaping the protestant Church of England under Edward VI. A Northumbrian by birth, he studied at Newcastle, Cambridge, Paris, and Louvain, and around 1524 became a fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge. In 1537 Archbishop Cranmer chose him as a chaplain; in 1540 he returned to Pembroke as master. Soon after the accession of Edward VI, he was made bishop of Rochester.
In 1550 he succeeded Bonner as bishop of London, where he did much to improve the condition of the poor by preaching on social injustices before the king (Edward VI). Ridley was disquieted by the greed of Edward VI’s courtiers and their raids on church property, which he argued had contributed to the spread of poverty throughout England.
In 1553 Ridley pleaded with Edward VI to give some of his empty palaces over to the city to house homeless women and children. One such foundation was Bridewell Royal Hospital, which is today known as King Edward's School, Witley.
He was implicated in the Duke of Northumberland's plot to divert the succession to Lady Jane Grey; however, it was for heresy rather than treason that Mary I pursued him. Ranged against catholic antagonists at the Oxford disputation of 1554, he defended himself bravely.
He was degraded on 30 September 1555, and was burned at the stake with Latimer before Balliol Hall, Oxford. Latimer's parting words to Ridley are often quoted:
Be of good courage, brother Ridlley, and play the man; for we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England, as I trust shall never be put out.
Mrs. Harman - Ridley Housemistress
Mrs. Harman has been the Housemistress of Ridley since January 2018 and prior to this was Assistant Housemistress in Ridley for two years. She has been working at the School since 2007 and currently teaches Economics. Mrs. Harman believes that a boarding house should be a safe and friendly place where you should work hard, but also where you can relax, socialise and enjoy yourself. She also believes that all members of the House have something to contribute whether on the academic, sporting, cultural or social front, or a combination of all these. She lives in Ridley House with Mrs. Harman and their daughter Keira (aged 4), who together really help to create a genuine family atmosphere in the House.
Ridley is lucky to have a fantastic support team consisting of:
- Assistant Houseparent - Mr. Ainge. Mr. Frazer supervises the House at times when Mrs. Harman is not on duty.
- Matron - Mrs. Young is responsible for the health and hygiene of each boy. She deals with all the cleaning and laundry and is responsible for referring all medical matters to the Medical Centre. If boys require medical treatment or medicines of any sort, they should first see Matron who will, if necessary, take them to the Medical Centre . Matron is also responsible for ensuring that the boys keep their bedrooms clean and tidy at all times.
- House Tutors - We are lucky enough to have a fantastic team of tutors, one of whom comes into the House each evening to supervise prep and the evening routine. Boys are also allocated an academic tutor who acts as a key liaison between the House, academic staff and home.
- House Management Team - There is a Head of House supported by a team selected from the Upper Sixth Form. They are responsible for maintaining the smooth daily running of the House, ensuring that all duties are carried-out properly, and encouraging all the boys to play a full part in the life of Ridley House. Their duties involve making sure that everyone is in the right place at the right time and that House duties have been completed your house duties. They are also available to help new boys settle in and deal with any problems that might come up
The Tea Club
The Tea Club based in Ridley House, has been a fixture at King Edwards on a Tuesday afternoon for
several years now and has been running for the entirety of its duration and Mrs Harman is immensely pleased with its success.
"The Tea Club began as a club for everyone to get together each week and drink tea and we certainly do a lot of that! However, it is also a place to relax and chat with friends.
There were the two aims of the club - to introduce more people to the wonderful world of tea drinking and to
provide a place for people to unwind and has been shaped by the people who attend. With the club being supervised by the chaplain, it was not uncommon for people to discuss beliefs and serious social issues. However, it was, and still is, full of laughter and we have seen a huge range of people participate over the years.
The Tea Club also goes out of its way to find new ways to drink tea. We have tried many things over the years: Tibetan butter tea, bubble tea, and most recently 'cheese tea'. I cannot say I would ever have them again, but I am certainly glad that I tried them.
The exception to this is the chai tea, which was initially tried in the first term of tea clubs’ existence. Since then, we have served chai tea every year in the last session before Christmas. I can only hope the club will continue to grow and evolve, changing with the people who are involved in the years to come."