Coverdale New Testament with manuscript dedication by Elizabeth Tudor

Description

This is a copy of Myles Coverdale’s 1538 translation of the New Testament in sextodecimo format. It is incomplete, lacking all content beyond the Gospels, however it contains a range of manuscript annotations and additions in the flyleaves at the beginning and end. Many of these annotations record names of the bible’s former owners, most dating to the 18th century. However, the oldest annotations date to the mid-16th century. On folio 4 (verso) there is a quatrain signed by Elizabeth Tudor (1533–1603). On the following folio (recto), there is a corresponding poem signed by one of Elizabeth’s ladies in waiting, Anne Poyntz. It seems likely that this bible was gifted to Poyntz by Elizabeth prior to her coronation in 1558 since her signature lacks the usual ‘R[egina]’ following her name. In the flyleaves at the end of the volume there are several other short poems in a range of different hands, ranging from the 16h to the 18th century.

Other noteworthy additions to the bible are two small drawings, one of Windsor Castle and the other of a Tudor/Stuart Knight of the Garter, that have been pasted onto two of the first flyleaves. An 18th century note signed ‘I.W.’ on folio 3 (recto) suggests that these images were drawn by King Edward VI (1537–1553). The same ‘I.W.’ has written a note on folio 4 (recto) attributing the quatrain discussed above to Elizabeth I.

Full title:
[[The New Testament. Coverdale's version.] B.L.]
Published:
1538?, Antwerp
Format:
Book / Illustration / Manuscript annotation
Creator:
Myles Coverdale
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
C.45.a.13. 

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Edward VI: Prince, Protestant, Painter?

Article by:
Fred Smith
Theme:
Transforming topography

Fred Smith takes a close look at a unique copy of Myles Coverdale’s New Testament, examining an ink drawing of Windsor Castle that may or may not have been painted by a young Edward VI.

Manuscripts of the Christian Bible

Article by:
Themes:
Sacred texts, Christianity

Dr Scot McKendrick looks at manuscripts of the Bible prior to the invention of printing, exploring their contents and uses and answering the question of why there are so few manuscripts of the whole Bible.

Henry VIII and the Reformation

Article by:
Susan Doran
Theme:
Christianity

Professor Susan Doran discusses Henry VIII and the Reformation, looking at the Catholic devotional texts that were owned by the king, his break with the Catholic Church and the development of the English Bible following the Reformation.

Related collection items