Coverdale, Miles

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Coverdale, Miles

Miles Coverdale, 1488–1569, b. Yorkshire. English translator of the Bible, educated at Cambridge. Coverdale was ordained (1514) and entered the house of Augustinian friars at Cambridge. After developing an appreciation of Martin Luther he became an advocate of ecclesiastical reform. Forced (1528) to reside abroad for his preaching against confession and images, he worked with William Tyndale and later published (1535) the first English translation of the entire Bible, probably largely with the aid of the Vulgate, Tyndale's Pentateuch and New Testament, and German versions emanating from Luther and the translators at Zürich. He collaborated on the Great Bible (1539) and edited Cranmer's Bible (1540). With the passage of the anti-Reformation Six Articles, Coverdale again fled to the continent, returning in 1547 after the death of Henry VIII. He enjoyed high favor under Edward VI, serving as bishop of Exeter from 1551 to 1553. On Mary's accession he lost his bishopric and left England. He returned after Elizabeth's succession, and became widely known for his eloquent sermons and addresses. He was rector of St. Magnus, London Bridge, from 1563 to 1566, but resigned when Archbishop Parker sought to enforce the Act of Uniformity, with which Coverdale was dissatisfied.

See his writings and letters, ed. by G. Pearson (2 vol., 1844–46).

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