Miles Coverdale Primary School Coverdale Road, Shepherds Bush, London
Miles Coverdale Quotes (Author of A Psalter for Prayer)
In 1877 Henry Stevens, in his catalogue of the Caxton Exhibition, pointed out a statement by a certain Simeon Ruytinck in his life of Emanuel van Meteren, appended to the latter's (1614), that Jacob van Meteren, the father of Emanuel, had manifested great zeal in producing at Antwerp a translation of the Bible into English, and had employed for that purpose a certain learned scholar named Miles Conerdale (). In 1884 further evidence was adduced by W. J. C. Moens, who reprinted an affidavit signed by Emanuel van Meteren, 28 May 1609, to the effect that "he was brought to England 1550 ... by his father, a furtherer of reformed religion, and he that caused the first Bible at his costes to be Englisshed by Mr Myles Coverdal in Andwarp, the w'h his father, with Mr Edward Whytchurch, printed both in Paris and London" (, 1884, p. xiv.). Apart from the reference to Whytchurch and the place of printing, this statement agrees with that of Simeon Ruytinck, and it is possible that van Meteren showed his zeal in the matter by undertaking the cost of printing the work as well as that of remunerating the translator. Mr W. Aldis Wright, however, judging from the facts that the name of Whytchurch was introduced, that the places of printing were given as London and Paris, not Antwerp, and lastly that Emanuel van Meteren being born in 1535 could only have derived his knowledge from hearsay, is inclined to think that the Bible in which J. van Meteren was interested "was Matthew's of 1537 or the Great Bible of 1539, and not Coverdale's of 1535" (1)
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Coverdale, however, was no independent translator. Indeed, he disavows any such claim by stating expressly, in his dedication to the king, "I have with a cleare conscience purely & faythfully translated this out of fyue sundry interpreters, hauyng onely the manyfest trueth of the scripture before myne eyes," and in the Prologue he refers to his indebtedness to "The Douche (German) interpreters: whom (because of theyr synguler gyftes and speciall diligence in The Bible) I haue ben the more glad to folowe for the most parte, accordynge as I was requyred." (4) These "fyue interpreters" Dr Westcott identifies as Luther, the Zürich Bible, the Latin version of Pagninus, the Vulgate, and, in all likelihood, the English translation of Tyndale.