William Tyndale and the Course of the English Reformation

Patrick Collinson
Trinity College, Cambridge

In locating and contextualizing William Tyndale in the English Reformation, we encounter a paradox. Assumptions are made, and were made from the very beginning, about Tyndale's primary role in changing, or offering to change, the religion of England. Bishop John Stokesley called him 'arch-heretic', Sir Thomas More 'captain our English heretics'.[1] Reviewing 'these bokes of heresyses' in 1532 ('there be so man, made within these few yeares'), More wrote: 'Fyrst Tyndale's new testament, father of them all by reason of hys false translatying.'[2] Tyndale himself, in the Prologue to the 1525 New Testament, described by David Daniell as 'the first English Protestant tract'[3] expressed a heightened sense of his own pioneering role:

For who is so blind to ask why light should be shewed to them that walk in darkness, where they cannot but stumble, and where to stumble is the danger of eternal damnation... After it had pleased God to put in my mind, and also to give me grace to translate this fore-rehearsed New Testament into our English tongue, howsoever we have done it, I supposed it very necessary to put you in remembrance of certain points, which are...[4]

— and so on. The paradox consists in the fact that the pioneer should be so soon forgotten.

John Foxe in the 1570 edition of his great 'Book of Martyrs' called Tyndale, in the chapter heading of his account of him, 'the Apostle of England': 'The life and story , the true servant and Martyr of God William Tyndale: Who for his notable paynes an travell may well be called the Apostle of England in this our latter age': although, towards the end of Foxe's narrative, Tyndale is demoted to the rank of 'an Apostle of England'.[5] But in these accounts Tyndale was generally placed first. According to Foxe older mentor, John Bale, 'the spirit of Elias was not at all asleep' in Tyndale (name first), Robert Barnes 'and such other'.[6] In the volume containing The Whole Workes of Tyndale, John Frith and Robert Barnes (in that order), a collection which followed hard on the heels of the 1570 edition of Acts and Monuments, and which Foxe edited, or least oversaw in John Day's printing house, Tyndale, Frith and Barnes were bracketed together as 'chiefe ryngleaders in these latter tymes of thys Church of England', and 'principall teachers of thys Church of England':[7] a surprising citation, the more one thinks about it, and one which would have interested Archbishop Cranmer, not to speak of King Henry VIII.

Tyndale's primary, even apostolic, place and role in the English Reformation seen, to be assured. But The Whole Workes of 1572-3 were never to be reprinted: while Foxe's account of Tyndale in his Acts and Monuments perhaps faded into little more than apiece folk memory. Thomas Fuller, in his mid-seventeenth-century Church History of Britain, merely obituarizes Tyndale when his narrative reaches 1536, the year of his death. And Fuller, strangely, suggests that the philological capacity of the great translator was distinctly limited. 'I presume', wrote Fuller in a patronizing vein, 'he rendered the Old Testament out of the Latin, his best friends not entitling him to any skill at all in Hebrew; yea, generally, learning in languages was then but in the infancy thereof.' Fuller, grudgingly, thought that 'Tyndale's pains were useful, had his translation done no more good then to help towards the making of a better.' But credit where credit is due. Fuller picked up, what no other commentator has noticed, that two apparently inconsequential pieces of anecdotage in Foxe had been put there to hint at Tyndale's apostolic, Pauline status. The episode in Antwerp, when Tyndale's mere presence was sufficient to render impotent the diabolical enchantments of a local 'juggler', paralleled Paul's defeat of the sorcerer, Elymas; while his conversion of his jailor, 'and others of his household', echoed what Paul had accomplished at Philippi.[8] What Fuller noticed probably owed something to Bale, whose own picaresque and novel-like autobiographical narrative, The Vocacyon of Johan Bale, drew explicit parallels between himself and the Apostle Paul.[9]

I am afraid that when we reach, a few years after Fuller, Gilbert Burnet's History of Reformation of the Church of England, Tyndale is reduced to a walk-on part:

And William Tyndale made a translation of the New Testament in English, to which he added some short glosses. This was printed in Antwerp, and sent over into England in the year 1526. Against which there was a prohibition published every bishop in his diocese... There were also many other books prohibited that time, most of them written by Tyndale.[10]

End of story.

Insofar as such authors tell us anything about Tyndale, they plagiarize Foxe; and it is clear that without Foxe and his informants, who included Tyndale himself in various autobiographical disclosures, he would have been almost unknown to posterity. To this day, perhaps 70 per cent of what modern biographers are able to tell us, in their strictly biographical rather than literary-critical role, depends upon Foxe, and to a lesser extent the chronicle of Edward Halle. 'Foxe' here means 1570 (and all subsequent) editions the Book of Martyrs. In 1563 Foxe had merely obituarized Tyndale at his martyrdom date of 1536, with 'the life and story of maister William Tyndall', consisting in the main f Richard Webb's collection of little Sodbury anecdotes.[11] In 1563, 'the description and manner of the burning of Maister Wylliam Tyndall' had consisted of the famous picture only, with the familiar balloon emerging from the martyr's dying lips: 'Lord open the King of England eies': no accompanying text.[12]

Why Foxe should have chosen to expand, reconstruct and modify the polemical thrust of Tyndale's story in his 1570 edition is a good example of the kind of problem confronting Professor David Loades and his collaborators in the projected critical edition of Foxe which they have in hand.[13] It is, for example, typical of Foxe's intensified antipapal animus in the year of the publication of the bull of excommunication of Queen Elizabeth that the anti-Catholic motivation of Tyndale's labours should now be accentuated,[14] while an oblique reference in 1563, potentially scandalous, to the machinations of George Joye as the precipitant of the 1534 edition of the New Testament, was in 1570 tactfully removed.[15]

Two years later followed The Whole Workes of Tyndale, Frith and Barnes: 478 pages of Tyndale, with an Index containing perhaps 1,500 entries, and a Preface alerting the reader to the particular value of these pioneering teachers and authors:

In opening the Scriptures, what truth, what soundnes can a man require more, or what more is to be sayd, then is found in Tyndall...How perfectly doth he hit the right sence, and true meaning in every thing!... Wherefore not unrightly he might be then, as he is yet cauled, the Apostle of England, as Paule cauleth Epaphroditus the Apostle of the Philippians, for his singuler care and affection toward them.[16]

And now there was additional biographical matter (to which I shall return), added to the account taken from Acts and Monuments.

We may link Foxe's motivation, and his significance, in this promotion of Tyndale to his efforts, between 1575 and 1578, to make Martin Luther better known in England; and, in particular, to make available to an English readership those writings of Luther which Foxe prized for their comfortable, consoling qualities, as it were made for 'all afflicted consciences which grone for salvation'.[17] This little library of Luther, consisting primarily of the Commentary on Galatians, but including a commentary on select Psalms and a collection of sermons, was published by the Huguenot printer Vautrollier under Foxe's surveillance. It represented most of what would be available of Luther to Englishspeaking Protestants for three centuries to come: a source of inspiration and consolation to both Bunyan and the Wesleys. The general affinity of the two enterprises is clear. Not only does Foxe present Tyndale as a devoted and as it were intuitive pastoral figure, resembling Luther, of whom Bishop Sandys, commending the Galatians commentary, wrote: 'the Author felt what he spake, and had experience of what he wrote.' Foxe had these significant things to say in his preface to Luther's A commentarie upon the fiftene psalms: 'Albeit the reading of the Scripture it selfe and the simple text thereof without further helpe hath matter enough to give intelligence and instruction sufficient for the soule of man to salvation', it was also helpful to read 'good commentaries and explications annexed withal'. (This was to beg a large question, and one eagerly contested in England for two or three generations to come: whether a bare reading of 'the simple text', rather than hearing the word preached, could save.)[18] In his commendations, Foxe suggested that Luther was necessary reading in order to comprehend the right relation of Law to Gospel, a matter which, as we shall see, has been thought central to a true understanding of Tyndale. I believe, while I cannot prove it, that Foxe intended his editions both of Tyndale-Frith-Barnes and of Luther to serve as a kind of prophylactic against the harmful pastoral effects of the determinism all too easily read into Calvinist soteriology, a problem with which Foxe seems to have had direct, and as it were clinical, acquaintance.[19]

Recent revisionist historians of the English Reformation sometimes seem to suggest that John Foxe made it all up, and that historians like A. G. Dickens merely replicate Foxe. Be that as it may, it is apparent that without Foxe there would have been precious little recognition, even in the England of the 1570s, either of the fundamental importance for a reformed Christianity of Luther's comfortable Gospel or of Tyndale's simple scriptural text, applying that Gospel to the heart and conscience.

And what of the 400 years and more since the 1570s? A certain amount of attention has been paid from time to time, and not least in 1994, to Tyndale, as it were within or for his own sake, his own religious thought and aspirations; and much more to the inestimable significance of his translations, not only for religion but for language and literature. In 1937 Gavin Bone wrote that but for Tyndale 'the Bible would not be such thing',[20] and in 1994 we discovered the homeliness all over again: for example, the 'couple of fritters' which Tamar serves up to her half-brother, King David's son Ammon. In reading the story of Peter's denial in the version of 1611, we learn that 'a certain maid beheld him ... and earnestly looked upon him.' Tyndale tells us in 1526 that 'one of the wenches' 'set good eyesight on him'. These are very different pictures: as different as Mannerism (Caravaggio, I think) and Brueghel. And the Brueghel reference is apt, since at the wedding at Cana in Galilee the ruler of the feast in Tyndale's translation does not talk about the worst wine being commonly served when 'man have well drunk' (1611) 'when men be drunk'. When Sir Thomas More wrote that for all England to go to school with Tyndale to learn English was 'a very frantique foly',[21] he chose to miss the point that Tyndale had been to school with all England, and had translated the New Testament, if not into all English, into a skilfully moderated form of the everyday speech of his native Gloucestershire.

In 1994 we have discovered (or rediscovered) Tyndale the wordsmith, Tyndale the rhetorician, whose rhetorical skills, painfully acquired at Oxford, were so artfully concealed in his text that we never noticed them.[22] We have been introduced to a Tyndale whose English was better than Eramus's Greek, and whose Hebrew was so good, better than that of his German teachers, that he could sense the Hebrew forms it in the Greek of the New Testament.[23]

But little that is helpful or convincing has so far been written about Tyndale's on-going role in the developing course of the English Reformation. And it may be that there is not a great deal on this subject which can be usefully said. Speaking theologically, and presently we shall have to attempt to do that, we still lack an adequate historical-theological account of post-Reformation English Protestant doctrine; although a recent study by Carl Truernan, Luther's Legacy, begins to fill the gap.[24] A recent and controversial study dealing with predestination and related matters between the Reformation and the Civil War contains only two passing references to Tyndale, who is indexed as Tyndale, John. Discredit where discredit is due.[25] Alister McGrath, in his two-volume work on the history of the doctrine of justification, Iustitia Dei, writes disparagingly of the 'theolog mediocrity' of the early English reformers, and finds that the influence of Tyndale the theology of the English Church was ephemeral. 'While martyrs have their uses, later sixteenth century saw the recognition of an even greater need — a systematic exposition of the theological foundations of the English Reformation.[26]

McGrath's judgement is coldly clinical, but just. An apparently definitive study of The Origins of the Federal Theology in Sixteenth-Century Reformation Thought (a topic often fathered upon Tyndale) finds no need to mention the translator-martyr so much as once.[27] Even on Tyndale's own ground of translation, he may have been a half-forgotten irrelevance no later than the last quarter of the sixteenth century. In 1582, the Catholic Gregory Martin published at Rheims A discoverie of the corruptions of the holy Scriptures by the heretiques, a polemical text to accompany the Rheims New Testament and reminiscent of Tyndale's own tendentious prefaces. And in the following year. William Fulke replied from the Protestant side with A defence of the sincere and true translations of the Holy Scriptures into the English tongue.[28] The references to Tyndale by both combatants are few and far between, with the issue of whether 'congregation' was to be preferred to 'church', once hotly contested between Tyndale and More, now referred to 'the first translators', rather than to Tyndale by name. Tyndale had now disappeared behind a new mountain range represented by Theodore Beza, the Geneva Bible and the rising English Protestant star of the day, William Whitaker, who had been born twelve years after Tyndale's death.

Whitaker and his contemporaries William Perkins and John Rainolds (not to speak of Richard Hooker) mark the professional coming-to-age of English Protestant divinity. In relation to their generation, William Tyndale begins to look like a figure in the English pre-reform. He has, in fact, been so presented in two modern studies. John Yost has interpreted Tyndale as some kind of Christian humanist, a true disciple of Erasmus. The intention is to detach him from Luther and to interpret his deeply moral concern in a non-Protestant con text.[29] But Donald Dean Smeeton, while equally concerned to minimize Tyndale's dependence upon Luther, discovers that he was the heir of another and different pre-reform tradition: the native Wycliffite-Lollard heretical tendency.[30] Whether or not there is any truth in these insights, the fact that we are content to accept Tyndale's contemporary and fellow-martyr Thomas Bilney as some kind of pre-reformer,[31] but not Tyndale, who we assume to have been almost the first of English Protestants, owes much to Foxe, who made Tyndale the founder of an English Protestant tradition while never pretending that Bilney was anything other than a transitional figure, still professing loyalty to the pope, still affirming transubstantiation.[32] But if we are to acknowledge in Tyndale some kind of Protestant, as we must if we are not going to look foolish, then we must not forget that Protestantism, especially with regard to the 'ism' part, was not in 1525 or even in 1536 what it had become by the age of Whitaker and Perkins; and that the label 'Protestant' had not been invented when Tyndale first translated the New Testament.


So far this has been as exercise in gound-clearing. Tyndale and the Reformation is like a river and the sea. The river (which is Tyndale's Bible) runs into the sea (which is the post-Reformation religious scene), where it is absorbed and disappears in that larger whole. The Fjordland of south-west New Zealand receives an astonishing 320 inches of rain in a year, with the consequence that the upper ten yards of some fjords consists of unassimilated fresh water. Tyndale's Bible language was a little like all that fresh water, initially a separate stratum overlying the immense depth of the pre-Reformation religious consciousness of what (according to Eamon Duffy)[33] was one of the most Catholic of the countries of late medieval Europe. The absorption of Tyndale's prose into all successive versions of the Bible, so that 80 or 90 per cent of the Authorized Version is his, in those portions of Scripture which he translated, is tantamount to the progressive absorption of all that land water into the Southern Ocean. But is a process hard to trace by the methods available to the historian, and nearly impossible to assess in its ultimate consequences. C. S. Lewis believed that biblical language was never fully assimilated by the national consciousness, that in respect of many even familiar phrases, the quotation marks still show. The Authorized Version had less influence on English prose than Dryden:[34] interesting but probably mistaken critical judgement.

The paradox in this process, to which I referred earlier, is one deeply embedded in William Tyndale himself, if I read his character correctly. According to Stephen Greenblatt, he provides a very special case of Renaissance 'self-fashioning', in which a recessions and even self-negations (Oxford and perhaps Cambridge to Little Sodbury, to London, to Germany, to Antwerp) were necessary to both conserve and construct an assertive design: which would then have the effect of fashioning everyone else.[35] Christopher Hill put it, memorably, in the Oxford International Tyndale Conference, like Marx Tyndale did not so much want to understand the world as to change it: and he did. Whereas Erasmus had expressed the pipe-dream of an utinam: would that 'everyman', and every woman, might read the Gospels for themselves, Tyndale boasted, the Foxe's Gloucestershire informant: 'If God spare my life, ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the scripture than thou dost.'[36] One might have expected that famous 'vaunt' to have swelled like a bullfrog's Tyndale actually fulfilled it, in the creation of what Greenblatt and the chief executive of the British Library ((who has just promised more than a million pounds for his may have been reading Greenblatt) agree is the most important book in the English language.

However, C. S. Lewis wrote of the vaunt that it was remarkable that the constancy of Tyndale's purpose triumphed not only over danger, exile, poverty and persecution, 'but even (which may be rarer) over all that was personal in the vaunt itself'.[37] The inclusion of his name on the title page of the 1534 New Testament was not another vaunt. It was necessary to warn the consumer against cheap imitations, the inferior products of the printers and of George Joye. The government agent Stephen Vaughan had already reported back to control that in their secret negotiations in a field outside Antwerp, Tyndale had assured him that if Henry VIII would only allow a 'bare text of the scripture to be published for the benefit of his people, as other governments had done long since, 'I shall immediately make faithful promise never to write more, not abide two days in these parts after the same.'[38] In effect, Tyndale was saying that in those favourable circumstances there would be no need for him to exist, or ever to have existed, as a fugitive translator living in unlicensed exile.

And that, in a sense, is what happened after Tyndale was indeed eradicated, with the progressive adoption of the English Bible, to such an extent his Bible, by the English crown. We may take as an instructive and contrasted parallel Christopher Saxton's Atlas, published in 1578. It was not at first advertised as his. There was no mention of Saxton on the title page, indeed, no title page, but instead a hierocratic, enthroned image of Queen Elizabeth, set between the pillars of Hercules. Only in later editions was it acknowledged as Saxton's Atlas, whereas William Camden's Britannia was from first to last Camden's Britannia. But what began as Tyndale's New Testament and Tyndale's Pentateuch were absorbed into the Great Bible, with its Holbeinesque title page displaying Henry VIII distributing it to his people, organized into the clerical and lay estates; later into the so-called Authorized Version. with its obsequious address to 'The Most High and Mighty Prince James'. So it was that Tyndale became, in Philip Howard's striking phrase, 'the forgotten ghost in the English language.'[39]


Is this then all that can be said about Tyndale and the course of the English Reformation I hope not. And yet what has so far been written includes some methodologically dubious and even slipshod intellectual history with which it will be necessary to join in critical engagement.

What we may reasonably discuss in the remainder of this essay is Tyndale's past, present and future, three constituencies, as it were: the constituency out of which he came, of which he was in some respects a representative; the constituency in which he lived and with which he communicated; and the constituency which he in some sense created and in which he may have been posthumously received. All three may be considered both circumstantially, and with reference to Tyndale's religious thought, and beyond thought, instincts and convictions. With respect to none of these three dimensions of Tyndale', place in history can we confine discussion to the phenomenon or factor of 'influence', as if it were all a matter of influences on Tyndale, or Tyndale's influence upon others. For, as Quentin Skinner taught us long ago, influence is a tricky customer who should be kept out of intellectual history unless and until he presents himself with impeccable credentials.[40]

Obviously, Tyndale did not come from nowhere, any more than the English Reformation came from nowhere, or nowhere except Henry VIII's marriage bed: and the question is the same for both. Did Tyndale, did the Reformation, emerge from indigenous tendencies, and in particular from the native dissenting tradition of Wycliffite Lollardy? Or did it and he more plausibly hatch from the egg which Erasmus laid in Tyndale's own lifetime, which for Tyndale would point to a process of incubation, mainly at Oxford, and possibly at Cambridge?

In the absence of any evidence of the inner turmoil of the kind experienced and monitored by Martin Luther, or, for that matter, documented for the Cambridge scholar Thomas Bilney out of his own mouth, most of what we know and can infer of Tyndale's formation can be attributed to his secondary and tertiary education, with what turned a typical young Erasmian and Grecian of the age into an evangical 'apostle', abandoning his Isocrates for the more demotic Greek of the New Testament, undocumented and unexplained. But in his Gloucestershire background it may be possible to dig up hints and fragments of deeper roots to the religious ardour and adversarial rebelliousness which mark his evangelical writings. In his native Vale of Berkeley the growing ascendancy of a number of related families, gentry and near-gentry, and rising to local political prominence with the temporary extinction of the Lords of Berkeley, was apparently connected with an openness to novel and critical religious opinions, as much as to wool, cloth and a London-linked cash economy.[41] The Tyndales, together with the Walshes (the young Tyndale's employers), the Poyntzes (who included Thomas Poyntz, Tyndale's protector in Antwerp) and the Tracys, all seem to have been to various degrees implicated in a reformist and anticlerical tendency. William Tracy was presently the author of distinctly heretical, indeed Protestant, will preamble which led to the cause célèbre of the scarcely legal exhumation and burning of his body by the bishop's chancellor. This testamentary statement was published with commentary by Tyndale, and soon Tracy's confession was used in their wills by people of evangelical persuasion as mid-Suffolk and Yorkshire: some of the best evidence we have of a kind of jungle telegraph in action in these early stages of the English Reformation.[42] Tracy was also the uncle of James Bainham, one of the first and socially the best connected of what we may call Tyndale's martyrs. Bainham was arrested in December 1533 with most of books in his possession.[43]

It is tempting to relate these straws in the wind to a long-established dissenting tradition noted in the recent history and developing sociology of the lands between the Cotswolds and the Severn: border country, according to a somewhat romanticized vision of this landscape. David Rollison does just that in his book on early modern Gloucestershire, The Local Origins of Modern Society. The leading echelons of that neck of the woods which was Tyndale's native heath are called by Rollison in a chapter-head 'Tyndale and All His Sect', which of course was Bishop Stokesley's expression, here somewhat misapplied. Protestantism is said to have been 'indigenous to the Vale of Berkeley', and to have consisted of a theology which appealed to men of 'middle rank', everywhere in England.[44] Donald Smeeton's study, Lollard Themes in the Reformation Theology of William Tyndale, which Rollison endorses ('a moderate, careful and thorough and will take some refuting') presents a similar, if less well-informed impression of a Gloucestershire which was a long-standing safe haven for dissent, and where, in Tyndale's time, 'anticlericalism had reached new heights'.[45]

I am afraid that this will not do. It neither explains William Tyndale, nor adequately characterizes early Tudor Gloucestershire, so far as its general religious complexion was concerned. The Smeeton-Rollison scenario differs from what we know (or think we about early-sixteenth-century religion generally. More to the point, it conflicts with the latest study of religion in sixteenth-century Gloucestershire itself, contained in cent Cambridge thesis by Dr Caroline Litzenberger.[46] On the basis of all surviving and relevant local evidence, including many hundreds of wills selected for study by a and sophisticated statistical method, William Tracy and his famous heretical testament proves to have been wholly exceptional. Litzenberger writes of 'a few well-placed articulate and learned proponents of protestantism'; but also of 'the majority's fervent conventional piety.' 'Eventually, the Reformation would transform Gloucestershire into a predominantly Protestant county and diocese, even at the level of .city, but in 1580 [note, 1580, not 1530] the process of change had only just begun.[47] This might appear to conflict with Kenneth Powell's earlier researches into the origins of the Reformation in the same region.[48] But Powell was looking for Protestants and naturally found some (whereas Caroline Litzenberger's subject is the religion of the laity at and his search was concentrated on the city of Bristol.

We have no reason to doubt that in Tyndale's part of the county (and not, for example in the Forest of Dean) there existed a sub-culture (as it happens a well-heeled and socially confident, even aggressive sub-culture) which responded to Tyndale's religious message and had perhaps helped to nurture it. The coming together of the veterans of of what Anne Hudson has called 'the premature Reformation'[49] with the beginnings of what may be called the Reformation proper (not always an easy relationship) is not in doubt. But the evangelicals were everywhere a minority, insufficient to explain, by their presence and influence, the Reformation as a public event affecting the social majority an the Church at large, either nationally or regionally.

That is not detrimental to Smeeton's argument, which concerns the alleged intellectual affinity with, or dependence upon, the Lollard tradition of an individual intelligent: that is, the mind of William Tyndale. But Smeeton fails the Skinner test.[50] To be fair, he is as conscious as any critic might be of the tentative, inferential status of his argument. He writes: 'I do not claim that Tyndale was "only" a Lollard. The theological comparisons, however, do suggest that Tyndale articulated his message in ways compatible with traditional English dissent to a degree far greater than has previously been suggested.[51] The possibilities are certainly there. Gordon Rupp, in one of his later essays, confessed to a growing sensitivity to these: Tyndale's hostility to a corrupt, power-hungry prelacy, his radically reduced ecclesiology, his sense of the Gospel as 'the law of Christ': all these could have come, somehow or other, from a Wycliffite source.[52] Smeeton is not barking up some wrong tree when he calls for further exploration of certain affinities and resonances of language, as with the development of 'true' and 'false' in both Tyndale and the Wyliffite texts: although he may go too far in claiming that 'Tyndale spoke the same language, if not the same dialect, used traditionally to express religious dissent.' At the heart of his thesis, as of all revisionist accounts of Tyndale's religious thought, is his 'moralism' (as some would call it). Smeeton suggests that Tyndale's conspicuous 'moral seriousness' could be interpreted as 'his attempt to integrate Lutheran terminology with the ethical concerns of traditional English dissent.' There is, for example, a shared (and markedly un-Lutheran) respect for the Epistle of James.[53]

Anne Hudson's well-supported insistence on the Wycliffite consistency and coherence of some early-sixteenth-century oral and written traditions,[54] together with the discovery of a Lollard presence at social levels not dissimilar from the lower-gentry clans of Tyndale's Gloucestershire,[55] make it difficult to dismiss Smeeton out of hand. And yet it must be said that there is no documented evidence whatsoever to sustain his thesis. Smeeton is obliged to admit that 'what Lollard tracts and sermons [Tyndale] may have read, heard, or even used cannot now be determined.[56] Most of the observed affinities can, in principle, be put down to a shared scripturalism. And whether Tyndale's scripturalism was in itself a specifically Wycliffite legacy is a question not capable of deter mination by applying the ordinary rules of intellectual history. And yet, as David Daniell has said, it would be good to know the nature and content of Tyndale's early sermons, preached in Bristol and elsewhere near or on his native heath;[57] as useful as it would be to know what Thomas Bilney shared with Lollard conventicles in East Anglia.[58]


This brings us to the present-related dimension: the constituency to which Tyndale spoke, which sustained him, to which he ministered. There is little that can be added to what is already known about Tyndale's sustenance and audience, or about the networks of colporteurage which disseminated his New Testament and other writings. Once again. we should be worse off than we are, still less straw for brick-making, if it were not for Foxe. Foxe preserved among his papers, without fully exploiting, those London diocesan trial records of the late 1520s, where we learn of what happened to the New Testament in the hands of such colporteurs and sympathizers as Robert Necton and the monk of Bury, Richard Bayfield, or the Essex Lollard with a bookish mother, John Pykas of Colchester, who found the preaching of Bilney 'best for his purpose'. Without Foxe to introduce us, we should never have been admitted into that parlour in the Austin Friars in London, where Robert Barnes was discovered, closeted with a young merchant wearing a gold chain, the most emblematic cameo of the early Reformation: discovered, that is, by the men from Steeple Bumstead in Essex, John Tyball and Thomas Hilles. Tyball Hilles showed Barnes what was left of their tattered, cherished, hand-written Wycliffite Gospels, which Barnes waved aside. 'A poynte for them, for they be not to be regarded toward the new printed Testament in Englyshe'; sending his visitors back to Steeple Bumstead with a newly minted copy of Tyndale, for which Hilles says they paid three shillings, Tyball three shillings and twopence, two weeks' wages for a working man.[59]

With the publication of Susan Brigden's London and the Reformation,[60] we know most of what we shall ever know about that shadowy society which Gordon Rupp called a kind of 'forbidden book of the month club',[61] the Christian Brethren. What we should like to learn is how far this loose evangelical connection sent out feelers, not only over the North Sea between London and Antwerp, but into rural and provincial England. The fact that a ritually insubordinate group of parishioners at Mendlesham in Suffolk, engaged in some form of inversion play, or misrule, should in 1531 have called themes Christian Brethren, I was once inclined to dismiss as probably irrelevant; until evidence was uncovered of the William Tracy Protestant will formula being copied in the rural fastness of Mendlesham, before the end of the 1530s.[62]

All the same, I am reluctant to follow David Daniell in extrapolating from the probable print-run of the Worms New Testament (more likely to have been 3,000 than 6,000 copies), not to speak of five pirated editions before 1534, to project a mass heretical or semi-heretical constituency in England.[63] As with some more recent new products (Coca-Cola comes to mind, especially in parts of Africa) it is not easy to say how far Tyndale his publishers and distributors found, how far they created their market. Hundreds of pages of Foxe's Book of Martyrs are proof of the speed with which the English Bible was internalized among its dedicated readers, reading, of course, 'acoustically', so that the illiterate within earshot shared in the exercise[64] The martyrs' letters are for the most part pieces of biblical pastiche, constructed by a cross-referential method which seems to have become instinctive and habitual within less than a generation.

But this was the culture of the bible-reading minority. The revisionists are having the better of the argument so far as the numbers game is concerned, even if, as Daniell points in a long footnote directed against Eamon Duffy, they are one-sided in the evidence which they choose to consider: two references to Tyndale in the 654 pages of Duffy's Stripping of the Altars, seven words on the Marian martyrs in Scarisbrick's The Reformation and the English People.[65] Susan Brigden, who would not want to be identified as a revisionist, is always writing about London Protestantism, up to the point at which her book ends (early Elizabeth), as a minority religion: a committed, hardline evangelical community of a few hundreds in a population of perhaps 50,000, somewhat ingrown and tending of necessity to marry within itself; but cross-sectional in social composition.[66] This is consistent with most other microcosmic investigations of the early Reformation in local communities so far conducted.[67]

But it would be a serious error to suppose that Tyndale's New Testament had the capacity to appeal only to heretics and once-born dissidents with a Lollard past, or that its reception was necessarily indicative of a total repudiation of traditional beliefs and habits. That 'scripturalism' had been a significant and appealing element in English culture since the late fourteenth century, a taste implied in much late medieval literature, it one which the book trade was unable to satisfy, is established in the important study by Janel Mueller. The Native Tongue and the Word.[68] This is the point, an important, precious point, of the two letters in The Plumpton Correspondence which A. G. Dickens brought to attention in his Lollards and Protestants in the Diocese of York.[69] Despatching a New Testament from London to his mother in Yorkshire, in about 1536, Rober Plumpton, a young man serving his time in the inns of court, writes:

Yf it will please you to read the introducement, ye shall see marvelous things hyd in it. And as for the understanding of it, doubt not; for God will give knowledge to whom he will give knowledge of the Scriptures, as soon to a sheppard as to a priest, yf he shall ask knowledge of God faithfully.

And in his second letter:

Wherefore I desire you, moste deare mother, that ye will take heede to the teachinge of the gospell, for it is the thinge that all wee muste live by... Mother, you have muche to thanke God that it woulde please him to geve you licence to live untill this time, for the Gospell of Christe was never so trewly preached as it is nowe.

What is striking about these letters is the evidence they contain that Plumpton was not merely receptive of the 'bare text' of the New Testament but had taken on board Tyndale's construction of its meaning and message, what he calls 'the onlye waye to understande the scripture unto our salvation'. And yet, as Dickens notes, the Plumpton were a family later noted for their staunch adherence to the old religion, while Robert Plumpton (who was to die young) married into a family which was to be deeply implicated in the Northern Rebellion of 1569.

At this point, we recall that when Sir Thomas More wrote his Dialogue Concerning Heresies in 1529, his son-in-law William Roper was 'infatuated' (Thomas Lawler word) with the Lutheran heresy, so that Roper may have served as the pattern for the interlocutor satirized as 'the Messenger' in the fiction of the Dialogue (a point on which not all commentators would agree). In the character of 'Messenger', we are told, More created 'a composite picture of the layman who is tempted to break from the ancient oral traditions of the church and accept the Protestant idea that all doctrine and practices the church must be based on the written word of the Bible'.[70] More believed that that was deadly infection, a kind of spiritual AIDS or hard drug addiction which threatened the entire Christian community of England. That conviction alone accounts and even atone for the literary and physical savagery of his personal vendetta against heresy, both in the interminable verbiage of his literary onslaught upon Tyndale and in the minor atrocities of his privatized prison in Chelsea. Yet William Roper recovered, and became in his mature years a prominent Catholic, one who served under Mary on commissions to discover heresy, wrote a hagiographicai account of his martyred father-in-law, and ended his days under Elizabeth as an obstinate recusant.[71]

If the revisionists are right, then a dispassionate history of the English Reformation, not concerned to score confessional points, will have to explain why the Tyndalian in which Plumpton and Roper were swallows (and how lone we shall never know) proved to be a false spring, or no summer. Do we find the answer in that Chelsea prison, successful repression? or in the process of generational progression, as young rebels turned into middle-aged conservatives? or (almost the same point) the initial freshness of Luther's and Tyndale's Gospel losing its shine and proving an ephemeral attraction? or in a number of individual accommodations of vernacular Bible-reading to formally orthodox religious behaviour? But perhaps Robert Plumpton and William Roper were somewhat exceptional young men.

But not, perhaps, that exceptional if they had been found in the comparative immunity and cultural otherness of the house of the English merchants at Antwerp, a society living incongruously, under the spiritual protection of St Thomas à Becket. This, if anywhere was the foundations of an affluent, influential, upper-middle-class lay Protestant community were laid. And insofar as Tyndale had a notable part in their laying it may well be that this was not the least part of his apostolic contribution to the creation of an ongoing Protestant tradition. It is significant that Foxe's apostolic citation refers not only to his achievement as a translator (which must be what is meant by 'hys paynefull travailes, and singular zeale to his countrey') but to personal qualities, moral, Christian and pastoral.[72] Tyndale was, according to Foxe, a man of exceptional, exemplary and transparent goodness: an appraisal endorsed by More (initially), by Stephen by Thomas Poyntz, and by his very keepers at Vilvorde, who 'reported of him that if he were not a good christian man, they could not tell whom to trust': meant, no an echo of the words of the centurion in Luke 23:47.[73]

Consequently, special interest attaches to some further biographical material added in the 1573 Whole Workes in the form of 'a few notes touching his private behaviour in dyet, study, and especially his charitable zeale, and tender releving of the poore.' Perhaps Thomas Poyntz, who died in 1562, had supplied this memoir. From it we learn of Tyndale's two weekly days of what he called 'pastime': Monday (the preacher's statutory holiday ) which he devoted to visiting and relieving his fellow English exiles; and Saturday, spent on more general charitable work, which he financed from the end he received from the English merchants. All the remainder of the week 'he wholy to his booke': except that on Sundays he was entertained at one or another the merchants' houses, 'where came many other merchauntes', to whom he expounded the Scriptures, both before and after dinner. 'He was a man without any spot, or blemish of rancor, or malice, full of mercy and compassion.[74]

It may be that this partakes of imaginative and polemical invention. Other evidence suggests a rather different character, a quirky individualist with whom it would have difficult to live. According to Professor Dickens's assessment, Tyndale 'lacked endearing qualities which are fostered by human affections.[75] But let us attach at credence to the Poyntz-Foxe character reference. Elsewhere,[76] I have argued that the impact of another apostle of the English Reformation, the German theologian Martin Bucer, was as much personal as theological and literary. I would say the same for Tyndale althugh it must he said that Tyndale, unlike Bucer, was above all notable for his capacity to write and consign to all posterity a pellucid, plain and forceful English prose which, over many generations to come, was necessarily to count for infinitely more than the man himself, who lived only briefly in the memories of those who had known him.


And so we arrive at the third and the most intransigent and contested of our three dimensions of Tyndale and the course of the English Reformation: the future constituency to which he communicated from beyond the stake and the ashes of Vilvorde. Abel being dead yet speaketh. But what did the dead Tyndale have to say? And (for this may not have been the same thing) what was he heard to say, as the Reformation process moved on from resistance to repressive ascendancy, from protest to establishment, throwing along the way those secondary cross-currents of protest which we call Puritanism? For when the majority became at least formally Protestant, the Protestant minority turn Puritan.

It is impossible to connect Tyndale with any of the mature and formalized expressions of English Protestantism in the age of establishment, whether Anglican or Puritan. H was in the best sense too radical, the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Take, for example, a remarkable passage from his Answer to More's Dialogue. Responding to More's censure of his translation of 'presbyteros' as 'senior' or 'elder', Tyndale proposed the strictly legal possibility, in principle, of what we now call women priests. Just as there were recorded instances in primitive Christian history of women preaching, and an established practice of baptism by women in an emergency, so women could, if need be, preach and minister in Tyndale's own day:

If a woman were driven into some island, where Christ was never preached, might she there not preach him, if she had the gift thereto? Might she not also baptize'? And why might she not, by the same reason, minister the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, and teach them how to choose officers and ministers? 0 poor women, how despise ye them![77]

Or take the question of the Sabbath, a matter of consuming interest to all sections the English Protestant community a hundred years after Tyndale's time: 'And as for the Saboth', wrote Tyndale against More,

a great matter, we be lords over the Saboth; and may yet change it into the Monday, or any other day, as we see need; or may make every tenth day holy day only, if we see cause why. We may make two every week, if it were expedient, and one not enough to teach the people.[78]

This was to take the doctrine of Christian liberty with respect to adiaphora, things indifferent, to unusual lengths, lengths not generally associated with the Puritanism of which Tyndale is supposed by some to have been the progenitor.

Over and above these particular issues, Tyndale's ecclesiology was so evangelically pragmatic, so inchoate (very like the early Luther's doctrine of the Church), that it is impossible to predict what kind of a Church of England he would have constructed or legislated for if, like Cranmer, he had been given the opportunity; or, more realistically, if he had returned to England to a benefice and had died in his bed (he might have lived be sixty-five at the time of the Elizabethan Settlement, ten years older than Archbishop Parker), in what kind of a church he would have been content to have lived and have had some public role. (And what kind of a role? A cathedral predend might have suited him, as it did John Bale and Thomas Becon; a Durham prebend perhaps, where he would have had Cuthbert Tunstall for a neighbour.)

And so, since there was no career, no deathbed, only a voice and a martyrdom, the scholars have buried themselves in Tyndale's theology, and especially in what they have made of his theology of salvation, the soteriology to be derived or intelligently inferred from his prefaces and prologues, as well as from the more extended treatise such as The Wicked Mammon. Mistakes have been made in the course of this research, according to the sternest methodological canons of intellectual history. And perhaps there is something wrong with the enterprise itself: the enterprise, that is, of studying Tyndale as a theologian, or of constructing a descriptive analysis of something called his theology. Tyndale had only one message, a matter of instinctive and pragmatic response to the imperative of the biblical word. C.S. Lewis thought that he had to despatch it by a series of messengers, in the hope that at least one might get through. John Carey remarks that Tyndale has only one thing to say, and that the problem for the critic is how he manages to say it so often, and yet still conduct us forward, alert, through page after page.[79] What was that 'thing'? It was, of course, the Gospel, for Tyndale 'the pith of all that pertaineth to the christian faith'.[80] The question, in the book England's Earliest Protestants by William Clebsch, in the thesis and articles by John Yost, in Smeeton's Lollard Themes in the Reformation Theology of William Tyndale, is always the same. How far did Tyndale differ, even intentionally diverge, from Martin Luther in his understanding of what that 'pith' consisted of? Was it the doctrine of justification by faith alone or something else? And, secondarily, to what extent was that Tyndalian understanding of the Gospel so powerfully communicated to later generations of English Protestants that it laid the groundwork for that distinctively English, or Anglo-American, Protestantism which was Puritanism? Smeeton reads his answers to these questions into Tyndale, from a Wycliffite-Lollard source. Clebsch reads his out of Tyndale and into Puritanism.

Sir Thomas More called Tyndale Luther's 'confederate' but Tyndale denied it, raising a small question-mark over the ingenious identification of Tyndale with the name 'Dalticus' (an anagram with one consonant wrong) in the matriculation register at Wittenberg, made independently by Preserved Smith and J. F. Mozley.[81] Whether or not our man was ever and in any capacity at Luther's university, Bishop Westcott in the nineteenth century pointed out that large passages in Tyndale's prefaces were straight translation from Luther, vehicles for Luther's sola fide doctrine in its most pristine form.[82]

Hence, in the Preface to the Epistle to the Romans, the telltale reference to 'the ground of the heart' (Herzgrund), the ringing definitions of what faith is and what faith does. 'Faith only justifieth.' 'Faith is a lively thing, mighty in working, valiant and strong, ever ever fruitful.' Faith... is a lively and stedfast trust in the favour of God'; together with the claim that Romans contains 'whatsoever a christian man or woman ought to know', 'the pith of all that pertaineth to the Christian faith'.[83]

However, according to those who have laboured to detach Tyndale from Luther, to make him independent as a theologian, or dependent upon some other source of inspiration, either his thought drifted progressively away from its pristine Lutheran anchor in direction actually subversive of the Lutheran sola fide position; or, a more sophisticate suggestion, Tyndale was making a convenience of Luther's writings on the subject, using the words of Luther to convey a meaning which was other than Luther's. To conflate these two interpretations would be to say that Tyndale ventriloquized for Luther for long as it appeared advantageous to do so, only to cut loose when it became desirable under fire from More and under threat from his royal master, to detach himself and his cause from the Lutheran connection. This is how minds and consciences function in high-risk ideological and political circumstances, and similar strategies could be extensively documented in the annals of both Protestants and Catholics in the sixteenth century. Either or any way, Tyndale is represented as pointing forward to a religious tradition yet to be born or thought of, as alien to pristine Lutheranism as Anglo-America Puritanism. Puritanism, for the sake of the projection in this argument, is understood n a religious code which stood four-square upon a covenant between God and man, shot through with conditionality and moral obligation: a conditional covenant indistinguishable from contract, a contract which demanded man's obedient response to God as the price to be paid for the enjoyment of his gracious favour. Was this Lutheran'? Was it even Protestant?

These approaches to Tyndale have been influenced, one is tempted to say vitiated, by that never-ending pursuit of that Holy Grail which is the hunt to account for the origins of Puritanism, an enterprise doomed to a measure of failure in respect of Puritanism no less than of Tyndale, since it demands a reification of Puritanism which in itself entailmisunderstanding.[84] Marshall Moon Knappen, in his 1939 classic, Tudor Puritanism, simply begins the story with Tyndale, as if it were self-evident that Tyndale was the first Puritan. But he had already argued the case in an article, drawing attention to such features as Tyndale's dependence on lay patrons, his self-imposed, authority-defying exile his unauthorized biblical translations, all characteristics of later Puritan activity.[85] Leonard J. Trinterud, in an often cited but somewhat insubstantial article of 1959, 'The Origins of Puritanism', also drew attention to Tyndale as the proto-Puritan, but concentrated on the single issue of what he called Tyndale's 'whole-hearted and systematic adoption of the law-covenant scheme as the basis of his entire religious outlook'; a scheme, according to Trinterud, derived from the early Rhineland Protestant theologians including Oecolampadius and Bucer, and transmitted to the first Puritans to be so designated.[86] And then, in 1964, in a much more ambitious study of book-length, William Clebsch argued that 'England's Earliest Protestants', all three of Foxe's 'principal teachers', Tyndale, Frith and Barnes, were collectively responsible for the conflation of justification by faith with a thorough-going moralism which built upon Luther but simultaneously repudiated him, and which 'empowered the Puritan force in English-speaking religion down to yesterday'.[87]

As that quotation suggests, Clebsch was rather too fond of the stylish, not to say glib. one-liner. Thus, Tyndale's Pathway into the Holy Scripture was called 'the magna carta of English Puritanism', its author 'the real if unacknowledged founder of the type of English-speaking Christianity that is commonly called Puritan.'[88] These claims must be confronted, if only because they are repeated as gospel, for example by A.G. Dickens in the revised edition of his English Reformation, where Tyndale is called, on grounds proposed by Clebsch, 'among the many progenitors of that complex phenomenon: English theology'.[89]

What Clebsch calls Tyndale's 'moralism' is not to be gainsaid. If it were not so liberally scattered through his writings, so many scholars would not have more or less independently picked it up and commented on it. There has to have been something there, something problematical, for David Broughton Knox, a learned historical theologian of evangelical persuasion without any interest in tracing the origins of Puritanism, to that Tyndale was in danger of 'overthrowing the whole basis of the Reformation': which is to say, justification by faith alone.[90] There is no denying that in the Prologue to the 1534 New Testament, Tyndale wrote this: 'The general covenant, wherein all other are comprehended and included, is this: If we meek ourselves to God, to keep all his laws, after the example of Christ, then God hath bound himself unto us, to keep and make good all the mercies promised in Christ throughout all scriptures.'[91]

But to read back into such a statement (in Clebsch's words) 'the theology upon which seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English-speaking Calvinists built Bible commonwealths'[92] is less than rigorous as intellectual history, shedding little light on either Bible commonwealths or Tyndale. Among Tyndale's biographers, the late C. H. Williams, who was not especially noted for rigorous intellectual history, made the essential point. Clebsch was peering down the wrong end of the telescope. It was as if we should say that Raphael Holinshed was the real if unacknowledged founder of the type of historical drama that is commonly called Shakespearean.[93] There are, of course, some advantages in looking down the telescope the wrong way. Christopher Hill, in the context of the Oxford International Tyndale Conference, told us that Tyndale was the father of Congregationalism, regardless of whether that was his intention. And there is truth in that.

But there is no more hard evidence that Puritan covenant theology was shaped by the thought of William Tyndale than that Tyndale himself was influenced by Wycliffite doctrine. The common dependence of all three on the same biblical words, tropes, paradigms and doctrines must make it nearly impossible to isolate 'influence', as if it were some electrical discharge, arcing over and above the biblical text. Since Clebsch wrote, and, for that matter, in the aftermath of the classic and much more celebrated writings of Perry Miller, there has grown up a considerable literature of a progressively brutal complexity on the subject of covenant, or federal, theology.[94] The key points of departure appear to be continental, not English: Heinrich Bullinger in the 1520s for the covenant idea (Bullinger may, in large part, account for Tyndale's interest in the matter), the covenant idea being simply 'one idea among many'; Zacharias Ursinus and other Heidelberg theologians of the 1560s for the adumbration of a fully-fledged covenant theology, presently taen up in England by Dudley Fenner and William Perkins with some help from Thomas Cartwright, who had spent time in Heidelberg. This new covenant theology, for first time, gained 'a controlling influence in the systematic ordering of doctrine'. Its origins lay in dogmatics, not exegesis.[95]

We leave questions of posthumous influence aside and return to Tyndale. Clebsch and some other commentators provide a dubious reading both of the development of Tyndale's religious thought and of its relation to Lutheranism. According to Clebsch, Tyndale's thinking was progressive and passed through three distinct phases in order to reach a destination point where morality became the key to theology, the basis of Christianity. Tyndale was 'ever more blatantly interpreting Christianity as a system of rewards and punishments for moral actions'. This progression (or regression?) wad accounted for by reference to Tyndale's pragmatism, the political necessity of avoiding those charges of antinomianism with which Protestants were for ever castigated; but rather more by his increasing absorption with the mental world of the Old Testament, the dominant themes of divine law and covenant. This happened as he engaged in the translation of the Pentateuch.[96]

There is much that is wrong with this analysis. Briefly stated, Tyndale's account of the relation of faith to works (the essence of the problem) fails to develop and alter in the schematic fashion proposed. From first to last, Tyndale insists that works, and love, love of God and neighbour, are the necessary, inevitable fruits of true faith, as unstoppable in the justified man as the necessity of making water. It is not the other way round. Sometimes, one is tempted to say, perversely, Tyndale does put it the other way round, reversing the apparent ordo salutis. We must resist the temptation to say that what led him to do so was a mischievous desire to confuse the authors of doctoral dissertations in the twentieth century. For an explanation, we need not confine our attention to the Old Testament. Some of the supporting texts are in the New Testament, and especially in the Beatitudes, where Tyndale read: 'Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy': and in the Lord's Prayer with its petition: 'Forgive us our trespasses, even as we forgive our own trespassers.'[97] We say that the trees are green, and therefore summer is come: whereas of course we know that summer is come, and therefore the trees are green.[98] By the same token, Tyndale found in the supposedly legalistic Old Testament, even in Deuteronomy ('a book worthy to be read in day and night') 'a very pure gospel, that is to wit, a preaching of faith and love: deducing the love to God out of faith, and the love of a man's neighbour out of the love of God.' Here too was 'the pith of the scripture'.[99]

Tyndale never shifted for more than a rhetorical line or two from a balanced doctrine of faith and works in which faith always led the way. In the commentary on Tracy's will (a late work), he wrote that 'true faith in Christ geveth power to love the lawe of God... Hast thow then no power to love the lawe? so hast thou no faith in Christis bloude.' But 'although when thou art reconcyled and restoryde to grace, woorkes be required, yet is not that reconsilynge and grace the benefite of the workes that follow: but cleane contrary that forgevenes of thy synnes and restoringe to favour deserve the workes that folow.' A king who pardons a criminal naturally requires him to keep his laws and he may now be wholly inclined to do so. But it was not the keeping of those laws which procured his pardon.[100]

This was not legalism or even 'moralism', nor is the covenant in Tyndale's scheme of things equivalent to a bilateral contract or bargain. Nor were Tyndale's formulations so antithetical to Luther's understanding of Law and Gospel, Faith and Works, as has been made out. If Tyndale diverged from Luther's initially stark and vivid paradoxes, so did most Lutherans, and it would take many decades of theological infighting to establish a modicum of constrained consensus on these doctrines among what Shakespeare (in the play Henry VIII) called 'spleeny Lutherans'.

John Foxe would recommend Luther as a guide for afflicted consciences to the difference, and yet consonance, of Law and Gospel, 'repugnant and contrary', and yet 'howe they stand togither in Scripture and doctrine, and yet in doctrine no repugnance.[101] The index for Tyndale in the Whole Workes of 1572-3 contains twenty-one entries under 'faith' and twenty-one under 'works', so implying a perfect balance not always to be found in his occasional writings, but less foreign to his consistent purposes than talk of Christianity as a system of rewards and punishments. There is a similar, carefully contrived balance in the rhetorical artfulness of Archbishop Cranmer's Homilies of 1547: where the Homily of Faith is all about Works, and the Homily of Good Works all about faith.[102] Luther's disparagement of the Epistle of James, which Tyndale (and the Lollards) valued, was a passing aberration. Subsequently everyone (with the exception of certain English 'free-willers', true heirs of the Lollards) was committed to the enterprise reconciling Paul in the Roman to James, and vice versa.

In the most helpful contribution to this difficult subject, 'William Tyndale's Concept of Covenant', Michael McGiffert insists on Tyndale's bibliocentric piety rather than his moralism. The covenanted if/then was never a contract, not a bargain over salvation between equal and contracting parties. It was a way of articulating the mutuality of God and man in a communion of commitment. Piety, not legality, supplied the key. 'Not even when he most strongly affirmed the conditionality of covenant did [Tyndale] open slightest chink to justification by works.[103] So McGiffert can quote C. S. Lewis with approval: 'the whole purpose of "the gospel" for Tyndale is to deliver us from morality;[104] although, we are entitled to add, the purpose was equally to deliver us for morality. Carl Trueman's Luther's Legacy contains an extended review of Clebsch which conthese judgements. Tyndale rarely spoke in terms of an ordo salutis, interested as he was in the existential effect of salvation. The shape of his doctrine was profoundly influenced by what he took to be the purpose of justification, that the believer should be made actually righteous. But his notion of Christian ethics was fundamentally at one with that of Luther. There is no substantial difference between his earlier and later writings in this respect, and his idea of covenant cannot be described as contractual.[105]


It has been said of Luther and can as well be said of Tyndale: it is one thing to determine what he was saying and another to be sure what he was heard to be saying. However, there is no denying the validity of what is virtually a truism, even a cliché: that religious understanding is inseparable from language (something no one knew better than Sir More) and that Tyndale provided the language in which the coming generations English men and women would comprehend and articulate their religion. Gordon Jackson told the Oxford International Tyndale Conference: within the English-speaking the voice of Tyndale is the voice of Christ. Carsten Thiede assured us: his English was better (more faithful to the biblical text) than Eramus's Greek. His instincts as a Hebrew scholar set him above his Wittenberg teachers. His was a language consistent with the language of the Bible and conditioned by Tyndale's own austere simplicity and unswerving honesty: a temperament which abhorred and often denounced all 'sophistry', a particular sense remote from our sense of the word, 'poetry'.[106]

The most recent clarifications of early-seventeenth-century English Protestant culture, a post-revisionist stage in our developing understanding of that huge subject, are helping us to understand how there can have been a widespread response to a religion only partly new, and in which moral intensity outweighed doctrinal intricacy: in its presentation in sermons and catechisms, as well as in the essentially Tyndalian biblical texts; and in reception.[107] When we have said all, or what little, we can say, Tyndale place in the course of the English Reformation can be reduced to this. The printed vernacular Bible, by an artificial, unusual and insular policy denied to the English people for two or three generations, was to explode in the consciousness and culture of the seventeenth century: in our greatest literature, as Barbara Lewalski has shown;[108] in politics, as we have learned from Christopher Hill;[109] and in the soul-searching, if not of ploughboys, of an itinerant mender of pots and pans in Bedfordshire.

In the 1630s, Ian Green tells us, ten times as many Bibles were printed in England as had been published in the 1570s; and it really does appear to have been the case that the production of Bibles, per capita, exceeded that in any other Protestant state of western Europe.[110] Thus it was, in the words of another Green, J. R., that the English became the people of a book, and that book the Bible.[111] Not only was Tyndale the remote cause that remarkable cultural moment and revolution. Given the persistent tenor of his biblical voice, he was the contingent, ongoing cause until just the other day: the author of those unforgettable words and phrases which resonate within the heads of all of us who were reared on the Bible and who are more than forty years old. One has a sense of the last words of John's Gospel, which appeared in the Authorized Version of 1611 with on: the most trivial of changes from Tyndale's version: 'There are also many other things, which Jesus did: the which if they should be written every one I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.' 'Even' and 'itself' are committee work. The rest is Tyndale.[112]


[1]J.F. Mozley, William Tyndale (London, 1937), p. 4; Gordon Rupp, Six Makers of English Religion 1500-1700 (London, 1957), pp. 16-17.
[2]The confutacyon of Tyndales answere, in The Complete Works of St Thomas More, VIII.i. (Louis A. Schuster et at., eds., New Haven and London, 1937) pp. 6-7.
[3]David Daniell, William Tyndale: A Biography (New Haven and London, 1994) p. 111.
[4]Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions to Different Portions of the Holy Scripture, by William Tyndale, Martyr, 1536 (Henry Walter ed., The Parker Society, Cambridge, 1848), pp. 7-8.
[5]John Foxe, The first (second) volume of the ecclesiasticall history contayning the actes and monuments. Newly recognised and inlarged (London, 1570), pp. 1224-30. The account of Tyndale in the 1570 edition of Foxe (and, substantially. in subsequent editions) is the text to be found in The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe (S. R. Cattley ed., V, London, 1838), pp. 114-29.
[6]Select Works of John Bale (H. Christmas ed., The Parker Society, Cambridge, 1849), p. 138.
[7]The whole workes of W Tyndall, Iohn Frith, and Doct. Barnes, three worthy Martyrs, and principall teachers of this Churche of England, collected and compiled in one Tome togither, beyng before scattered, and now in Print here exhibited to the Church. To the prayse of God and profit of all good Christian Readers (London, 1573), especially Foxe's Preface.
[8]Thomas Fuller, The Church History of Britain (Oxford, 1845), III, pp. 162-3. Fuller has a worthy successor in Stephen Greenblatt, who has noticed that Tyndale's prison request for warm clothing and a Hebrew Bible, grammar and dictionary (Mozley, op. cit., pp. 333-5, the only surviving written thing in Tyndale's hand) parallels a request made by St Paul in 2 Timothy 4:13. (Renaissance Self-Fashioning: from More to Shakespeare (Chicago, 1980), p108.)
[9]The Vocacyon of Johan Bale (Peter Happe and John N. King eds., Medieval and Renaissance Tests and Studies, Binghamton, N.Y., 1990).
[10]Gilbert Burnet, The History of the Reformation of the Church of England, revised Nicolas Pocock (Oxford, 1865), I, 69, 262
[11]John Foxe, Actes and monuments of these latter and perillous dayes, touching matters of the church (London, 1563), p. 513.
[12]Ibid., p. 520.
[13]In 1859 the great Victorian editor John Gough Nichols (in his edition for the Camden Society of Narratives of the Days of the Reformation, drawn from Foxe's papers in the Harleian MSS) called for a scholarly (rather than polemical) modern edition of Foxe. For more than 130 years, his plea went unheeded. But in the early 1990s Professor David Loades has proposed, and the British Academy has adopted, the project of just such an edition, which will be expedited by electronic technology of which Nichols never dreamed.
[14]Margaret Aston, The King's Bedpost: Reformation and Iconography in a Tudor Group Portrait (Cambridge, 1993), especially pp. 149-66, 'John Foxe and The Acts and Monuments of 1570'.
[15]The reference in 1563 was sufficiently oblique: 'where one had altered it, other wyse then maister Tyndall hadde translated it' (Foxe, Actes and monuments, p. 16). For similar suppressions of potentially scandalous material in the 1570 edition, see Patrick Collinson, 'Truth and Legend: the Veracity of John Foxe's Book of Martyrs', in A. C. Duke and C. A. Tamse, eds., Clio's Mirror: Historiography in Britain and the Netherlands: Britain and the Netherlands, VIII (Zutphen, 1985), pp. 31-54, reprinted in Patrick Collinson, Elizabethan Essays (London and Rio Grande, OH, 1994), pp. 151-77.
[16]The whole workes, Preface.
[17]A commentarie of M. Doctor Martin Luther upon the Epistle of S. Poule to the Galathians (London, 1575). The Prefatial Epistle, addressed to 'All Afflicted Consciences which grone for salvation and wrestle under the crosse for the king kingdom of Christ' is not signed by Foxe, but given his publicly owned part in the other Vautrollier Luther editions (Revised Short-Title Catalogue numbers 6965-16969, 16975, 16975.5, 16989-16991. 16993, 16994), we may safely assume that he was the author.
[18]A commentarie upon the fiftene psalmes, called Psalmi Graduum... faithfully copied out of the Lectures of D. Martin Luther (London, 1577), Epistle. The rebate about 'bare' reading and preaching will be addressed in the forthcoming Cambridge doctoral thesis by Arnold Hunt.
[19]Collinson, Elizabethan Essays, pp. 151-77; J. F. Mozley, John Foxe and His Book (London, 1940) pp. 105-7.
[20]Gavin Bone, 'Tindale 33 the English Language', in S. L. Greenslade ed., The Work of William Tindale (London and Glasgow, 1938) p. 63.
[21]The Complete Works of St Thomas More, VIII.i. 212.
[22]Daniell, op. cit., pp. 87-90, 162-8, 247-9.
[23]This sentence is indebted to Professor Carsten Peter Thiede of the Institute fur Wissenschaftstheoretische Grundlagenforschung, Paderborn and to his paper read to the Oxford International Tyndale Conference, September 1994, 'Tyndale's European Years'.
[24]Carl S. Trueman, Luther's Legacy: Salvation and the English Reformers 1525-1556 (Oxford, 1994).
[25]Peter White. Predestination, Policy and Polemic: Conflict and Consensus in the English Church from the Reformation to the Civil War (Cambridge, 1992). The index entry for John Tyndale (sic) occurs on p. 335.
[26]Alister Mcgrath, Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification II: From 1500 to the Present Day (Cambridge, 1986), pp. 98, 113.
[27]D.A. Weir, The Origins of the Federal Theology in Sixteenth-Century Reformation Thought (Oxford, 1990).
[28]A defence of the Sincere and True Translations of the Holy Scriptures Into the English Tongue, Against the Cavils of Gregory Martin. By Williams Fulke, D.D (C. H. Hartshorne ed., The Parker Society, Cambridge, 1843).
[29]John K. Yost, 'The Christian Humanism of the English Reformers, 1525-1555: Study in English Renaissance Humanism' (unpublished Duke University Ph.D. thesis, 1965).
[30]Donald Dean Smeeton, Lollard Themes in the Reformation Theology of William Tyndale, Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies, VI (Kirksville, MS, 1986).
[31]See J. F. Davis's not altogther convincing attempt to fit Bilney into the (essentially Franco-Italian) category of pre-Reformation 'Evangelism', Heresy and Reformation in the South-East of England, 1520-1559 (London, 1983), pp. 30-33 Chapter 4, 'Evangelism and Lollardy'.
[32]Acts and Monuments of John Foxe, IV (London, 1837), pp. 648-51.
[33]Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars : Traditional Religion in England 1400-1580* (New Haven 33 London, 1992).
[34]C.S. Lewis, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama (Oxford, 1954), p. 214. Lewis was discussing the value and literary influence of the Authorized Version rather than Tyndale.
[35]Greenblatt, op. cit., pp. 74-114.
[36]Mozley, William Tyndale, p. 34. Eramus's utinam had been expressed in the Paraclesis prefacing his New Testament, the Novum Instrumentum, of 1516, a figure which in its turn was an echo of the Epistles of St Jerome. For Erasmus, the New Testament and Jerome, see A. G. Dickens and Whitney R. D. Jones, Eramus the Reformer (London, 1994); and Lisa Jardine, Eramus, Man of Letters (Princeton NJ, 1993).
[37]Lewis op. cit., p. 182.
[38]Mozley, William Tyndale, p. 198.
[39]Richard Helgerson, Forms of Nationhood: the Elizabethan Writing of England Chicago and London, 1992) pp. 107-42. Philip Howard's phrase 'the forgotten ghost' appeared in The Times.
[40]Quentin Skinner, 'Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas', History and Theory, VIII (1969), pp. 3-53. And see James Tully ed., Meaning and Context: Quentin Skinner and his Critics (Oxford, 1988).
[41]David Rollison, The Local Origins of Modern Society: Gloucestershire 1500-1800 London, 1992).
[42]John Craig and Caroline Litzenberger, 'Wills as Religious Propaganda: the Testament of William Tracy', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, XLIV (1993) pp. 415-31; John T Day, 'William Tracy's Posthumous Legal Problems', William Tindale and the Law, Sixteenth-Century Essays & Studies, XXV (John A. R. Dick and Anne Richardson eds., Ann Arbor, MI, 1994). While Day concentrates on the legal and political repercussions of the Tracy affair, making it clear that the chancellor was only technically at fault in having Tracy's body exhumed and burned, Craig and Litzerberger document the use of the Tracy will preamble by testators in other parts of England, and place the text in the context of the literary, satirical and polemical use of will preambles.
[43]Daniell, op. cit., p. 185; Caroline Litzerberger, 'Responses of the Laity of Charges .n Official Religious Policy in Gloucestershire (1541-1580)' (unpublished Cambridge Ph.D. thesis, 1993) p. 79.
[44]Rollison, op. cit., pp. 90-92
[45]Smeeton, op. cit., pp. 41, 252.
[46]Litzerberger, 'Responses of the Laity'.
[47]Ibid., pp. 79, 233.
[48]K.G. Powell, 'The Beginnings of Protestantism in Gloucestershire', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, XC (1971), pp. 141-57; K. G. Powell, 'The Social Background of the Reformation in Gloucestershire', ibid., XCII (1973), pp. 96-120.
[49]Anne Hudson, The Premature Reformation: Wycliffite Texts and Lollard History Oxford, 1988).
[50]See the unfavourable review (followed, curiously, by a favourable review) of Smeeton by Bryan Morris in The Sixteenth-Century Journal, XVIII (1987), pp. 451-3.
[51]Smeeton, op. cit., p. 251.
[52]Gordon Rupp, Just Men: Historical Pieces (London, 1977), p 52.
[53]Smeeton, op. cit., pp. 259-61.
[54]Hudson, op. cit., passim, but especially pp. 5 and 508-17.
[55]Derek Plumb, 'The Social and Economic Spread of Rural Lollardy: A Reappraisal', in W. J. Sheils and Diana Wood eds., Voluntary Religion. Studies in , Church History, XXIII (Oxford, 1986); Derek Plumb, 'A Gathered Church?' Lollards and their Society', in Margaret Spufford ed., The World of Rural Dissenters, 1530-1725 (Cambridge, 1995); Andrew Hope 'Lollardy: the Stone Which the Builders Rejected', in Peter Lake and Maria Dowling eds., Protestantism and the National Church in Sixteenth-Century England (London, 1987).
[56]Smeeton, op. cit., p. 251.
[57]Daniell, op. cit., p. 56. Martha Skeeters states that at the time of the sermon Augustine's Green in Bristol, Tyndale was 'an Erasmian reformer'. (Community and Clergy: Bristol and the Reformation c.1530-1570 [Oxford, 1993], It is not clear what her evidence is.
[58]Davis, Heresy and Reformation in the South-East of England, pp. 48-53, 66
[59]The original materials in Foxe's papers, BL, MS. Harley 421, were printed it Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials (Oxford, 1822), I.ii.50-65. The Austin Friars cameo is included in A. G. Dickens and Dorothy Carr eds., The Reformation in England to the Accession of Elizabeth I (London, 1967). pp. 35-6.
[60]Susan Brigden, London and the Reformation (Oxford, 1989).
[61]It may be that this bon mot depends upon oral/aural evidence. But see Rupp, Studies in the Making of the English Protestant Tradition (London, 1947). p 13-14.
[62]Davis, Heresy and the Reformation, p. 54; Craig and Litzenberger, 'Wills as Religious Propaganda, pp. 426-7. D. J. Peet, 'The Mid-Sixteenth Century Pan, Clergy With Particular Consideration of the Dioceses of Norwich and York' (unpublished Cambridge Ph.D, thesis, )980), pp. 210-17. Dr Peet was aware of the precocity of these will formulae, but not that they followed the Tracy text.
[63]Daniell, op. cit., pp. 187-9.
[64]Margaret Aston, 'Lollardy and Literacy', in Aston, Lollards and Reformers: Images and Literacy in Late Medieval Religion, pp. 193-217.
[65]Duffy, op. cit., pp. 215, 433; J. J. Scarisbrick, The Reformation and the English People (Oxford, 1984), p. 136; Daniell, op. cit., pp. 398-9.
[66]See Susan Brigden on the 500, and 200, hard-core evangelicals identified in 1540: op. cit., pp. 320-21.
[67]See the evidence assembled in Christopher Haigh, English Reformations: Religion, Politics, and Society Under the Tudors (Oxford, 1993); and in Patrick Collinson, 'The English Reformation, 1945-1995', in Michael Bentley ed., The Writing of History: A Companion to Historiography (Routledge, forthcoming). There is now a revisionist account even of the Reformation in the supposedly precociously Protestant town of Hadleigh in Suffolk: J. S. Craig, 'Reformation, Politics and Polemics in Sixteenth Century East Anglian Market Towns' (unpublished Cambridge Ph.D. thesis, 1992) pp. 137-57.
[68]Janel Mueller, The Native Tongue and the Word: Developments in English Prose Style, 1380-1580 (Chicago, 1984).
[69]A.G. Dickens, Lollards and Protestants in the Diocese of York 1509-1538 (Oxford, 1959), pp. 131-5.
[70]Thomas More, A dialogue concerning heresis, The Complete Works of St Thomas More, VI.ii (Thomas M. C. Lawler et al. eds., New Haven and London, 1981) p. 448.
[71]D.N.B. 'Roper'; S. T. Bindoff, The House of Commons 1509-1558 (London, 1982), III pp. 215-17.
[72]Acts and Monuments of John Foxe, V, 114-34; The whole workes, Preface.
[73]Acts and Monuments of John Foxe, V, 127.
[74]The whole workes, sig. Biii.
[75]A.G. Dickens, The English Reformation, (London, 2nd edition. 1989). pp. 95-6.
[76]Patrick Collinson, 'The Reformer and the Archbishop: Martin Bucer and an English Bucerian', in Collinson, Godly People: Essays on English Protestantism and Puritanism (London, 1983), pp. 19-44; Patrick Collinson, Archbishop Grindal 1519-1583: the Struggle for a Reformed Church (London, 1979), pp. 49-56.
[77]An Answer to Sir Thomas More's Dialogue... by William Tyndale, Martyr, 1536 H. Walter ed., The Parker Society, Cambridge, 1850), p. 18. See the forthcoming, critical, edition of Tyndale's Answer: An Answere Vnto Sir Thomas Mores Dialogue, Anne M. O'Donnell and Jared Wicks eds., The Independent Works of William Tyndale (Washington, DC, 1995). The point about women's ministry is of course, immediately qualified: 'Notwithstanding, though God be under no law, and necessarily lawless: yet we be under a law, and ought to prefer the man before the woman, and age before youth, as nigh as we can' (An Answer, p. 18).
[78]Ibid., pp. 97-8. See Patrick Collinson, 'The Beginnings of English Sabbatarianism', in Collinson, Godly People, pp. 429-43; Kenneth L. Parker, The English Sabbath: A Study of Doctrine and Discipline from the Reformation to the Civil War (Cambridge, 1988) pp. 32-6.
[79]Lewis, op. cit., p. 182; John Carey, 'Prose Before Elizabeth', in Christopher Ricks ed. English Poetry and Prose 1540-1674 (1986 edition), p. 336.
[80]Doctrinal Treatises by William Tyndale, p. 507.
[81]The Complete Works of St Thomas More. VI.i.288; An Answer, p. 147 ('and when he saith "Tyndale was confederate with Luther", that is not truth'). For their decipherings of the Wittenberg matriculation register, see Preserved Smith, Englishmen at Wittenberg in the Sixteenth Century', English Historical Review, XXXVI (1921), pp. 422-33; and Mozley, William Tyndale, pp. 51-3. Although Mozley wrote sixteen years after Smith's article, it appears that he was ignorant of it.
[82]Brooke Foss Westcott, A General View of the History of the English Bible (London and Cambridge, 1868), pp. 192-211. In a sense there has been no progress since 1868. Westcott was no less sensitive to Tyndale's independence of Luther than to the textual derivation from Luther of much of the matter in the prefaces.
[83]Doctrinal Treatises by William Tyndale, pp. 485, 489, 493, 507.
[84]For some recent contributions to 'a long-running discussion, see Patrick Collinson, The Puritan Character: Polemics and Polarities in Early Seventeenth-Century English Culture (William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, Los Angeles, CA, 989); Peter Lake, 'Defining Puritanism — Again?', in Francis J. Bremer ed. Puritanism: Transatlantic Perspectives on a Seventeenth-Century Anglo-American Faith (Boston, MA, 1993).
[85]M.M. Knappen, Tudor Puritanism (Chicago, 1939), Chapter I, 'Tyndale and the Continental Background'; M. M. Knappen, 'William Tindale — the First English Puritan', Church History, V (1936), pp. 201-15.
[86]Leonard J. Trinterud, 'The Origins of Puritanism', Church History, XX (1951), pp. 37-57.
[87]William A. Clebsch, England's Earliest Protestants 1520-1535 (New Haven and London, 1964) p. vii.
[88]Ibid., pp. 167, 9.
[89]Dickens op. cit., p. 97. Still more recently. Clebesch has been endorsed as providing 'a full and carefully argued analysis of Tyndale's development through the 1530s towards a theology of contract' (Gerald Hammond, 'Law and Love in Deuteronomy', in William Tyndale and the Law, pp. 51-8).
[90]David Broughton Knox, The Doctrine of Faith in the Reign of Henry VIII (London, 1961), p. 6. Smeeton (op. cit., pp. 123-4) quotes this remark out of, text. In fact, Knox provided one of the most sensitive and knowledgeable accounts of Tyndale's soteriology, and certainly did not conclude from his investigation the matter that Tyndale had fundamentally subverted the title-deeds of the Reformation.
[91]Doctrinal Treatises by William Tyndale, p. 470. The Parker society editor, Henry Walter, was .. mistaken in giving this piece the title of 'Prologue Upon the Gospel St Matthew', an error repeated in the reprinting (for the most part) of Parker Society texts in The Work of William Tyndale, Gervase Duffield ed., Courtenay Library of Reformation Classics, I (Appleford, Abingdon, 1964).
[92]Clebsch, op. cit., p. 203.
[93]C.H. Williams, William Tyndale (London, 1969), pp. 133-4.
[94]Weir, op. cit., is remorselessly annoted, rendering further references unnecessary.
[95]Weir, op. cit., pp. 9-10, 62, 115, 118, 144, 158.
[96]Clebsch, op. cit., Chapter 10, 'Tyndale's Rediscovery of the Law 1530-1532, Chapter 11, 'Tyndale's Theology of Contract'.
[97]Doctrinal Treatises by William Tyndale, pp. 469-70.
[98]An Answer, pp. 198-9.
[99]Doctrinal Treatises by William Tyndale, pp. 441-4.
[100]The Testament of master Wylliam Tracie esquier expounded both by Wylliam Tindall and Jho Frith (Antwerp, 1535), Sig. Avi.
[101]Luther, A commentarie upon the fiftene psalms, John Foxe's Epistle.
[102]The whole workes, Index to Tyndale's works; T. H. L. Parker ed., English Reformers. Library of Christian Classics, XXVI (London, 1966), pp. 253-86.
[103]Michael McGiffert, 'William Tyndale's Concept of Covenant', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, XXXII (1981), pp. 167-84.
[104]Lewis, op. cit., p. 187.
[105]Trueman, op. cit., pp. 85, 93, 107.
[106]Somewhat notoriously, in one of the best essays ever written on Tyndale, Gavin Bone wrote: 'The truth is that Tindale hated literature. Next to a papist he hated a poet' (The Work of William Tindale (S. L. Greenslade ed., London and Glasgow, 1938, p. 67). C. S. Lewis was only one of several commentators to point out that the remark was liable to mislead, 'poetry' in this sense (as in Sir Philip Sidney's) meaning fictions, such as the ballads of Robin Hood or of Bevis of Southampton; but also Utopia (Lewis, op. cit., pp. 185-6).
[107]Among post-revisionist studies, I single out for mention Alexandra Walsham, 'Aspects of Providentialism in Early Modern England' (unpublished Cambridge Ph.D. thesis, 1995); and Ian Green's forthcoming studies of the catechetical tradition in post-Reformation England, beginning with The Christian's ABC: Catechisms and Catechizing in England c.1530-1740.
[108]Barbara Lewalski, Protestant Poetics and the Seventeenth-Century Religious Lyric Princeton NJ, 1979).
[109]Christopher Hill, The English Bible and the Seventeenth-Century Revolution London, 1993).
[110]Information communicated by Dr Green at a Reformation Studies Colloquium held at the University of Sheffield, April 1990, and in correspondence; an unpublished paper by Dr Green, 'Developpement et declin de la production des Bibles en Angleterre entre 1530 et 1740 environ': all foreshadowing a forthcoming major study, the successor to The Christian's ABC.
[111]J.R. Green, A Short History of the English People (London, 1874) p. 447.
[112]Daniell, op. cit., Gerald Hammond, The Making of the English Bible (Manchester, 1982).

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