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William Tyndale’s Letter While in Prison

 

William Tyndale had an unequaled mastery of English phrasing, rhythm and style as an individual translator. He dedicated his life in the service of bringing the Bible to the English-speaking people. Tyndale, the translator of our English Bible in 1524, was arrested by the Roman Catholic authorities and put in prison to await his martyrdom. He was incarcerated to an inhospitable dark and damp small 7 feet by 6 feet prison cell dug under and next to the river with no facilities and the interior  without windows for 16 months which encompassed a full winter. While there he wrote the following letter to the Governor or a Noble man, the Marquis of Bergen :

“Wherefore I beg of your lordship, and that by the Lord Jesus, that if I am to remain here through the winter you will request the commissary to have the kindness to send me from the goods of mine which he has a warmer cap, for I suffer greatly from the cold in the head and am afflicted by a perpetual catarrh, which is much increased in this cell. A warmer coat also, for this which I have is very thin. A piece of cloth, too, to patch my leggings. My overcoat is worn out. My shirts are also worn out. He has a woolen shirt, if he will be good enough to send it. I have with him also leggings of thicker cloth to put on above. He also has warmer night caps. And I ask to be allowed to have a lamp in the evening. It is indeed a wearisome to sit alone in the dark. But most of all I beg and beseech your clemency to be with the commissary that he will kindly permit me to have the Hebrew Bible, Hebrew grammar, and Hebrew dictionary, that I may pass the time in that study. Read More