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William Tyndale

Medieval life and Times

Short Biography about the life of William Tyndale
The following biography, short history and interesting facts provide helpful information for history courses and history coursework about the life and history of William Tyndale a famous Medieval character of historical importance who lived during the Middle Ages:

  • Country of Origin / Nationality: English

  • Lifetime: c1484-1536
  • Born: William Tyndale was born c1484
  • Occupation and Career: English Protestant Reformer and Bible translator
  • Died: William Tyndale died 536
  • Character of William Tyndale: He was a small, thin man of abstemious habits and untiring industry
  • Accomplishments and Achievements or why William Tyndale was famous: a Protestant reformer and Bible translator

William Tyndale
The story and biography of William Tyndale which contains interesting information, facts & the history about the life of this Medieval person of historical importance. William Tyndale lived from c1484-1536.

Short Biography of William Tyndale
William Tyndale was born in Gloucestershire during the Wars of the Roses. He adopted the alternative name of Huchyns or Hychins, which Tyndale himself bore when at Oxford in 1510. After graduating there, he went to Cambrdge University where the influence of Erasmus, who had been Professor of Theology, still operated. He took religious orders, and in 1522 was a tutor in the household of Sir John Walsh of Old Sodbury, and was preaching and disputing in the country round, for which he was called to account by the Chancellor of the diocese. At the same time he translated a treatise by Erasmus, the Enchiridion Militis Christiani (Manual of the Christian Soldier), and in controversy with a local disputant prophesied that he would cause that "a boye that driveth the plough" should know the Scriptures better than his opponent. Having formed the purpose of translating the New Testament Tyndale went in 1523 to London, and tried to gain admission to the household of Tunstal, Bishop of London, but without success.

Tyndale then lived in the house of a wealthy draper, Humphrey Monmouth, where he probably began his translation of the Bible. Finding, however, that his work was likely to be interfered with, he moved in 1524 to Hamburg, where he went to visit Luther at Wittenberg. He began printing his Bible translation at Cologne the following year, but had to fly to Worms, where the work was completed. The translation itself is entirely the work of William Tyndale. It is that of a thorough scholar, and shows likewise an ear for the harmony of words. The notes and introduction are partly his own, partly literal translations, and partly the gist of the work of Luther. From Germany the translation was introduced into England, and largely circulated until forcible means of prevention were brought to bear in 1528. In this year Tyndale moved to Marburg, where he published "The Parable of the Wicked Mammon", a treatise on Justification by Faith, and The Obedience of a Christian Man, setting forth that Scripture is the ultimate authority in matters of faith, and the King in matters of civil government. In 1530 he published his translation of the Pentateuch and The Practice of Prelates, in which he attacked Cardinal Wolsey and the proposed divorce proceedings of Henry VIII who endeavoured to have him apprehended.

Tyndale was then involved in a controversy with Sir Thomas More. In 1533 he returned to Antwerp, Henry's hostility having somewhat cooled, and was occupied in revising his translations, when he was in 1535 betrayed into the hands of the Imperial officers and carried off to the Castle of Vilvorde, where the next year he was strangled and burned. William Tyndale was one of the most able and devoted of the reforming leaders.

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