XXV. THE BISHOP'S BIBLE PLACED IN THE HALL, 1578.
1. "The glory of putting forth the first English Bible in
print was reserved for Miles Coverdale," (fn. 3) who in 1535 published
a "special translation," in 1548–9 preached before the Company
(receiving 6s. 8d. (fn. 4) for his sermon), and in the decline of his life
was a tenant of one of their houses in St. Benet's Fink. (fn. 5)
"Sunday, the last day of January 1567.
"First at this day the Master and Wardens, at the humble
request of Mr. Myles Coverdale, professor of holy divinity,
have granted license unto Edward Babbington, gentleman, to
transport unto the said Mr. Miles Coverdale, all that his right,
interest and term of years, which he hath or ought to have to
and in one tenement with the appurtenances situate lying and
being in the parish of St. Benit Fink, within the ward of
Broad Street of London, wherein Richard Mynsterley late
dwelled, as well by virtue of a lease thereof made to the said
Rychard Minsterley by Mr. Thomas Acworth, the late Master
of this mystery, and his Wardens as otherwise. So that he
the said Myles do from henceforth yield and pay unto the foresaid Master and Wardens, and to their successors yearly, during
the residue of the said term of years yet to come mentioned in
the said Indenture of Lease in and by all things according as
the said Richard Minsterley was bound to do by virtue of the
said Indenture of Lease."
2. In 1560 he also assisted, with other refugees at Geneva,
in forming a new translation—dividing the Bible into verses;
and in 1568 another edition, called the Bishop's or Parker's
Bible, was put forth for the use of parish churches.
3. This Bible was ordered to be placed in the Hall by this
Court Minute:—"The Master and Wardens decree that a Bible
of the new form, lately printed by Christopher Barker, the
Queen Majesty's printer, shall be bought and set up in their
Common Hall, in some convenient place for such as resort unto
the said Hall, may occupy themselves at Court days while they
attend for the hearing of their cause."—[30th October 1578.]
4. In consequence of objections raised to the Bishop's Bible
at a conference of Divines at Hampton Court, a new translation
was agreed upon, in which Bishop Andrews, and other divines,
some of whom had been educated in the Company's School,
were engaged. This was printed in 1611, and in process of
time supplanted the older edition; for in the Mastership of
Mr. Edward Cotton in 1627, it was purchased for the Company,
as this entry proves:—
"Item paid Mr. Churchman, wch hee laid out for a Bible to
stand in the Hall, the summe of 39s."
5. The Bible was not destroyed by the fire in 1666, but is
still in the possession of the Company. It was rebound in the
Mastership of Mr. Foster White, and bears the marks of the
chain which attached it to the lecturn.