Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

JANUARY 20th  

On this day in history in 1569, died Miles Coverdale.

Coverdale was a clergyman and Classics scholar who produced the first complete printed English Bible. 

Little is known of Coverdale’s early life. We know that he was born in Yorkshire, it is thought in the village of Coverdale. He studied at Cambridge, was ordained at Norwich in 1514 and entered an Augustinian friary in Cambridge where he came under the influence of the prior, Robert Barnes, who was a devotee of Martin Luther. When Barnes was tried for heresy, Coverdale assisted in his defence and when Barnes escaped to the Continent, Coverdale left the priory and went to Essex, where he preached vehemently against images and the mass.  

In 1528, due to the religious policies of Henry VIII, Coverdale was obliged to leave for the Continent to escape persecution. There he assisted in translations of the bible into English, particularly Tyndale’s and Cranmer’s translations. In 1538, in Paris, he had printed the Great Bible, the complete works, translated into English, although much of the translation work was taken from Tyndale and other authors.  

In 1548, after the death of Henry VIII, Coverdale returned to England and was received well at the Reformation court of Edward VI and promoted to Bishop of Exeter. However, when Mary I came to the throne and reversed the Reformation, Coverdale had to leave for the Continent once more. Coverdale returned to England again when Elizabeth I took the throne, and he officiated at the consecration of her Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker. Coverdale declined to retake the position of Bishop of Exeter, preferring to receive the charge of a small church in London, St Magnus the Martyr, where he became known for his quality sermons and biblical interpretations. Coverdale died in 1569 and is buried in the church where he was rector. [St Magnus the Martyr, Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6DN]

Previous day       Next day      

©2006 Ward’s Book of Days