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PREFACE.

THE life of one of our early Reformers, a man, celebrated as being the first who translated the whole Bible into our mother tongue,* and who is not less to be admired for his piety and learning, than for his many excellent qualities of heart and mind, cannot, it is conceived, prove altogether uninteresting; particularly as the incidents of his eventful career are intimately connected with that remarkable period of our history, the æra of the Reformation.

A reprint of this important translation of the Bible, which was brought out in the year 1535, is now in the press, and will be published on the day of the Queen's Coronation. The valuable copy of the first edition used by the printer, was from the rich and extensive library at Kensington Palace. The loan was granted to the Publisher by the royal owner in the same liberal and gracious manner in which every request is met that has for its object the diffusion of knowledge, and the advancement of literature. This Bible of COVERDALE and the reprinted Testament of TYNDAL are two of the most valuable and curious works, that modern enterprise has ever ventured to offer to the notice of the public.

It was on searching for particulars of Coverdale's life, that the total absence of any thing like a satisfactory or consistent account of him, first suggested to the author the idea of the present work; and he was the more confirmed in this design, when he found how erroneous were the views generally entertained, respecting the measures adopted by King Henry the Eighth, with regard to the promulgation of the Scriptures in English. He has therefore tried to supply these wants by as complete a memoir of Coverdale, and as correct an account of the measures taken by the government of that period, to suppress or put forth the Bible, as the materials that existed would enable him to do.

With regard to the list that he has given of Coverdale's works, contained in the Appendix, it is to be observed that, as must ever be the case with old and rare books, little opportunity has offered of verifying the existence of many of them; but the precaution has been adopted of citing the authority for each book, and the reader may therefore judge for himself, as to the degree of credit to be attached to each statement.

Inner Temple,
May, 1838.

PAGE

CHAPTER VI.

Matthew's Bible published.—Grafton's Letters to Lord Cromwell
concerning it.The Clergy much offended at this Edition, on
account of the Prologue and Prefatory Pieces attached to it.—

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