Main content

Alert message

William Tyndale was born in October 1494, roughly 500 years ago. He was born in Gloucestershire, near the Severn estuary, where a monument stands commemorating him. Little is known about his early life, except that by 1512 he had graduated at Oxford, after studying at Magdalen College. It was obvious to his tutors he had a great ability for languages, and after graduating he went to study theology in Cambridge. There he was appointed a priest. But, like many fellow scholars, he found teaching theology a big drag, and was getting pretty fed up. This was mainly because of the church’s insistence upon the use of the Latin Bible. He knew what the other priests were up to, he even knew about Innocent VIII’s seven illegitimate children, who he enriched with the church’s treasures. He knew about Alexander VI living with a Spanish woman that he wasn’t married to, that they had five sons, and all about how his favorite, Caesar Borgia, had murdered his brother and his brother in law. They taught one thing and did the other, and it disgusted him. He knew he must put a stop to it. He didn’t know how he was going to do it, but he knew he must.