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a pious layman of the reigns of Henry VIII. Edward, Mary, and

, a pious layman of the reigns of Henry VIII. Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth, descended from an ancient family in Norfolk, and was the eldest son of John Taverner of Brisley, where he was born in 1505. He is said to have studied logic for some time in Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, and, if so, must have been contemporary with archbishop Parker. He afterwards removed to Oxford, and was one of the learned scholars invited by cardinal Wolsey to his new college there. Wood informs us that he took the degree of A. B. on May 21, 1527, and that of A.M. in 1530, having been made one of the junior canons the year before. Having thus acquired a competent knowledge in the sciences and learned languages, he studied law in the Inner Temple. In 1534 he was introduced to court, and being taken into the service of sir Thomas Cromwell, principal secretary of state, he was recommended by him to the king for one of the clerks of the signet in 1537, which place he held until the reign of queen Mary, notwithstanding his commitment to the Tower about four years after for “slandering the ladie Anne of Cleve,” or rather on account of his being deemed one of the gospellers, as they were termed, of his college. He certainly was a friend to the reformation, and in order to promote it undertook a new translation or edition of the English bible, “recognized with great diligence after most faithful examples,” Lond. 1539, fol. It was dedicated to the king, and allowed to be read in churches. But in 1545, his patron, lord Cromwell, being then dead, the popish bishops caused the printers to be imprisoned and punished; and the editor himself also was committed to the Tower. Here however he acquitted himself so well, that he was not only soon after released, but restored again to the king’s favour, and chosen a member of parliament in 1545. Bale calls Taverner’s edition of the Bible, “Sacrortim Bibliorum recognitio, seu potius versio nova;” but it is neither a bare revisal of the preceding editions, nor a new version, but between both. It is a correction of what is called Matthewe’s Bible; many of whose marginal notes are adopted, and many omitted, and others inserted by the editor. Archbishop Newcome thinks it probable that Taverner’s patron, Cromwell, encouraged him to undertake this work, on account of his skill in the Greek tongue; but it is more probable that he was principally induced to it by the printers, as we learn from a passage in the dedication, in which, after telling the king that a correct or faultless translation of the Bible must be the production of many learned men, and of much time and leisure, he adds; “but forasmuch as the printers were very desirous to have the Bible come forth as faultless and emendately as the shortness of the time for the recognising of the same would require, they desired him, for default of a better learned, diligently to overlook and peruse the whole copy, and, in case he should find any notable default that needed correction, to amend the same, &c.