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King Henry VIII Granting the Great Bible to Cranmer and Cromwell

Letter of Archbishop Cranmer to Thomas Cromwell.

August 4, 1537.

MSS. Chapter House, Westminster; Cromwell's Correspondence.

      My especial good Lord, after most hearty commendations unto your lordship; these shall be to signify unto the same, that you shall receive by the bringer thereof a Bible1 in English, both of a new translation and of a new print, dedicated unto the King's Majesty, as farther appeareth by a pistle unto his Grace in the beginning of the book, which in mine opinion is very well done, and therefore I pray your lordship to read the same. And as for the translation, so far asI have read thereof, I like it better than any other translation heretofore made; yet not doubting but that there may and will be found some fault therein, as you know no man ever did or can do so well, but it may be from time to time amended.
     And forasmuch as the book is dedicated unto the King's Grace, and also great pains and labour taken in setting forth of the same, I pray you, my lord, that you will exhibit the book unto the King's Highness, and to obtain of his Grace, if you can, a license that the same may be sold and read of every person, without danger of any act, proclamation, or ordinance heretofore granted to the contrary, until such time that we the bishops shall set forth a better translation, which I think will not be till a day after doomsday. And if you continue to take such pains for the setting forth of God's word, as you do, although in the mean season you suffer some snubs, and many slanders, lies, and reproaches for the same, yet one day He will requite altogether. And the same word (as St. John saith) which shall judge every man at the last day, must needs show favour to them that now do favour it. Thus, my lord, right heartily fare you well. At Forde, the ivth day of August. [1537.]

Your assured ever,        
T. Cantuarien.2

1 Commonly called Matthew's Bible, but in fact translated by Tyndale, Coverdale, and Rogers. It was printed by R. Grafton and E. Whitchurch in 1537.
2. Thomas Cantuariensis, i.e., Thomas of Canterbury.

Image Source:
Knight, Charles. The Pictorial History of England. Vol 2.
London: Bradbury and Evans, 1857. 713.

The Remains of Thomas Cranmer. Vol I. Rev. Henry Jenkyns, Ed.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1833. 196-197.

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Thomas Hariot
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Persons of Interest
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester
Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
William Tyndale
Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Hugh Latimer
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Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
The Babington Plot, 1586
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Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
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The Ten Articles, 1536
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The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555

Images of London:
London in the time of Henry VII. MS. Roy. 16 F. ii.
London, 1510, earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR

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