Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

20 Jan 1569 A.D. Bishop of Exeter, Miles Coverdale, Died. English Reformer, Augustinian, Cambridgensian, Reformed Churchman, Colleague of William Tyndale, Godparent to John Knox’s Child at Baptism in Geneva

20 Jan 1569 A.D.  Bishop of Exeter, Miles Coverdale, Died.  English Reformer, Augustinian, Cambridgensian, Reformed Churchman, Colleague of William Tyndale, Godparent to John Knox’s Child at Baptism in Geneva, Bible translator, Refuser of Elizabeth’s “imposed non-adiaphoristic adiaphoras,” and Co-Consecrator of Elizabeth’s 71st Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker

Dr. Rusten tells the story.

Rusten, E. Michael and Rusten, Sharon. The One Year Christian History. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003.  Available at:

Mr. Coverdale was born in York in 1492. He graduated from Cambridge. He was ordained in 1514 as an Augustinian friar. As a Cambridge don and friar, he was associated with Prior Robert Barnes (later murdered), Tyndale (murdered), Cranmer (murdered) and Latimer (murdered).  Mr. Coverdale survived the hate-engine of the Anglo-Italian Inquisitors in the English Church and Royalty.

In 1528, he preached against the Mass, auricular confession, images and relic worship and more. He was forced to leave England and the Augustinian community.

A friend describes Coverdale in those days before expatriation:

“Under the mastership of Robert Barnes he drank in good learning with a burning thirst. He was a young man of friendly and upright nature and a very gentle sprit, and when the Church of England revived, he was one of the first to make a pure profession of faith of Christ. Other men gave themselves in part, he gave himself wholly to the propagating the truth of Jesus Christ’s gospel and manifesting his glory.”

From 1528-1535, he worked with William Tyndale in Hamsburg and Antwerp.  In Oct 1535, while Tyndale was incarcerated in Belgium, Coverdale produced an OT edition in Marburg, Germany…a work incorporating some of Tydnale’s previous work.

Coverdale wrote the dedication of the translation to Henry VIII and his fellow fornicator, the adulteress Queen Anne Boleyn.  Coverdale wrote:

“Considering now, most gracious prince, the inestimable treasure, fruit and prosperity everlasting that God giveth with His Word, and trusting in His infinite goodness that He would bring my simple and rude labour herein to good effect, therefore, as the Holy Ghost moved men to do the cost hereof, so was I boldened in God to labour in the same…I do with all humbleness submit mine understanding and my poor translation unto the spirit of truth in your grace, so make I this protestation, having God to record in my conscience, that I have neither wrested nor altered so much as one word for the maintenance of any manner of sect, but have with a clear conscience purely and faithfully translated this out of five sundry interpreters, having only the manifest truth of the scriptures before mine eyes.”

Today’s Bibles still have many, many words and phrases from Tyndale’s and Coverdale’s Bibles, including chapter headings.

Thomas Cromwell liked Coverdale’s work.  He deputed Coverdale to Paris to oversee the publication of English Bibles for all 9000 English parishes.  But, the English Anglo-Italians and other Continental Romish Inquisitors had the publication suppressed.

Mile Coverdale returned to England when Elizabeth 1 acceded to the thone.  The former bishop of Exeter turned exile turned translator died on 20 Jan 1569.  The man who had suffered exile, privation and other sufferings, refused to submit to Elizabeth’s imposed-adiaphora.


Hoglund. K. “Coverdale, Miles.” WWCH. 177.

Mozley.  Coverdale and His Bibles. London: Lutterworth, 1953.

Rowden, Harold H. “Coverdale, Miles (1488-1569). NIDCC. 267-8.

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