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Rich as the literature of this country is in biography, the memory of TYNDALE has hitherto been singularly neglected : In vain we search in abbeys or cathedrals, among the monuments of departed worth, for any memorial of the martyred TYNDALE. Yet to him are we indebted for the FIRST TRANSLATION of the New Testament into our vernacular tongue; and his labours laid the basis of that authorised version, which has exerted so powerful and hallowed an influence upon the British nation, and upon English literature, and even upon the forms of the language itself. His life forms an important era in our national religious history; and as long as the English tongue is spoken his memory will be imperishable.
The present sketch of the life of this great man, is chiefly compiled from materials in the writer's possession, which he has been gradually accumulating for many years, with a view to the preparation of a bibliographical history of our religious literature, previous to the introduction and general circulation of the English Scriptures, including an account of the first printed versions in their successive editions. Should this essay be favourably received, it will afford encouragement to the writer to prosecute his researches, and to collect such further materials as may be still extant in Flanders and Germany, for a complete memoir of TYNDALE and his illustrious colleagues.
To His Grace the Archbishop of CANTERBURY, to the Lord Bishop of London, to the Lord Bishop of LLANDAFF, Dean of St. Paul's, and the Gentlemen of the Chapter, the writer begs leave to express his deep sense of grateful obligation for the very kind manner in which they opened to his researches the libraries of Lambeth Palace, and St. Paul's Cathedral, and the archives of Canterbury and London. He is greatly indebted also to the polite and friendly communications afforded by the Rev. R. H. BARHAM, of St. Paul's, and to two descendants from the illustrious martyr, the Rev. J. G. TYNDALE, rector of Holton, Oxfordshire, and J. ROBERTS, Esq., Temple, to whom he returns his warmest thanks.
Not only the warmest thanks of the publisher of this volume, but those of the religious public, are due to the Trustees of the BAPTIST COLLEGE at Bristol for the liberality and readiness with which they granted the loan of the unique and precious copy of TYNDALE's New Testament, of which the present edition is an exact reprint, except that the Roman letter has been employed with a view to render it more generally useful. The wood-cuts and ornamental letters have been carefully copied from the original volume.
Should this re-publication of a work so interesting to the biblical scholar, and so highly deserving, from its intrinsic value, of a place in every library, meet with the success which is confidently anticipated, it will be followed with a reprint of the first English version of the entire Bible, by Bishop COVERDALE,* to whom, next to Tyndale, England is under the deepest obligations for her most precious treasure—the words of God in the language of the people.
* This reprint will be from a copy lent for the purpose to the Publisher by the illustrious and gracious Prince His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, and subscribers' names may be enrolled at every respectable Bookseller's as well as at Mr. BAGSTER's, Paternoster Row.
FIRST PRINTED THE NEW TESTAMENT IN ENGLISH, 1525 ;
WAS MARTYRED AT VILVOORD, NEAR BRUSSELS,
OF THE FAMILY, COMMUNICATED BY J. ROBERTS, ESQ.
Hugh, Baron de Tyndale, of Langley Castle, Northumberland, escaped from the field of battle when the Yorkists were overcome by the Lancastrians; lost his title and estate; he took refuge in Gloucestershire, under the assumed name of Hutchins.
-Alicia, daughter and sole heiress of Hunt, of Hunt's Court at Nib. ley, in Gloucestershire.
John Tyndale, otherwise called Hutchins, of Hunt's
John Tyndale, otherwise William Tyndale, otherwise Thomas Tyndale, whose Hutchins, an eminent mer. Hutchins, strangled and descendant, Lydia Tyndale, chant of London, persecuted burnt at Vilvoorde, near married the celebrated by Bishop Stokesly. Brussels, September, 1536. Quaker, honest John Ro
berts, of Lower Siddington, near Cirencester.