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Friday, 26 August 2011

Robert Tighue - Known to God

Robert Tigue (or Tighe, Teigh), [1] was listed in all the earlier (pre-nineteenth century) printed lists of the Translators, as Leigh says McClure.

Dr. Tighe was born at Deeping, Lincolnshire; and was educated partly at Oxford, and partly at Cambridge. He is characterized as "an excellent textuary and profound linguist." (2)

Field in Market Deeping

He was Archdeacon of Middlesex and Vicar of the Church of All Hallows, Barking, London. This was the church in which Lancelot Andrewes had been christened. (AN). Tighue was also archdeacon of Westminster.

Robert Tighue was a member of Lancelot Andrewes’ Westminster I group, engaged in translating the Old Testament books Genesis - II Chronicles. This was the group of whom Andrewes’ wrote [to the Society of Antiquaries, 1604] at their commencement:

Most of our company are negligent.
Perhaps Tighue was one of the exceptions to this assessment. As far as we know, he had little to distract him from the important work. He may be one of the unsung heroes of the Translation, those who are largely unknown to men, but known to God, and added value to the work.

Dr. Tighe died in 1620 (Nicolson says, 1616), and left his son an estate of one thousand pounds annually. McClure‘s comment:

[This] is worth mentioning because [such an act is] so rarely done by men of the clerical profession.

Church Interior, All Hallows, Barking

1. Le Neve's Fast Eccles. Ang. P. 194
2. McClure, Alexander The Translators Revived.

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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Robert Spalding - Hebrew Professor

Robert Spalding was a fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge. We don’t know his date of birth, but he succeeded Edward Lively as Regius Professor of Hebrew in Cambridge University in 1605. Spalding was appointed to the first Cambridge group of translators of the King James Version.

The first Cambridge group was responsible for revising the Old Testament books from Chronicles to Ecclesiastes. Its members were Roger Andrewes (or Andrews), master of Jesus College, Cambridge; Andrew Byng, a prebendary of York, where he later became subdean; Laurence Chaderton, one of the original delegates at Hampton Court; Francis Dillingham, a prolific theological writer; Thomas Harrison, a biblical scholar reputedly second only to Andrewes in learning; Edward Lively, a Hebraist whose death in 1605 prevented his participation in the work; Robert Spalding, a fellow of St John's College; and John Richardson (d. 1625). It was natural and inevitable that Cambridge University should dominate this group. (1)

Robert Spalding died in 1626.

(1) Westbrook, Vivienne (2004) Oxford Dictionary of National BiographyAuthorized Version of the Bible, translators of the.

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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Richard Brett - eminent reputation

Academic preparation

Richard Brett was born either in Somerset or in London, in 1567 , and matriculated at Hart Hall, Oxford, in 1582. He was aged fifteen, and graduated in Classics four years later.

Brett subsequently proceeded MA in 1589, adding a BTh in 1597, and a DTh in 1605.(1) Meanwhile, in 1595 Brett was appointed Rector of Quainton, Buckinghamshire. That same year, he was granted a Fellowship in Lincoln College, under Richard Kilby, where he took up further studies in Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and Ethiopic.

Lincoln College, Oxford

In the 18th Century Lincoln became the cradle of Methodism when John Wesley, a fellow there from 1726, held religious meetings with his brother Charles and the rest of Wesley's 'Holy Club', whom the rest of the university took to calling 'Bible-moths'.


Brett published translations of hagiography and history from Greek into Latin at Oxford, Vitæ sanctorum Evangelistarum Johannis et Lucæ à Simeone Metaphraste concinnatæ, Oxford, 1597, and Agatharchidis et Memnonis historicorum quæ supersunt omnia,Oxford, 1597 and Iconum sacrarum Decas in quâ è subjectis typis compluscula sanæ doctrinæ capita eruuntur, in 1603.

Translation work

Richard Brett belonged to the first Oxford group, responsible for translating the canonical Old Testament books, Isaiah to Malachi. Its director was John Rainolds, president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford - John had originally proposed the undertaking to King James. Brett was also one of the first fellows of Chelsea College, London, in 1616, Other fellows of this College, who were on the KJV translation committee, include John Overall, John Spenser, Miles Smith and John Boys.

Eminent Reputation

McClure says

He was renowned in his time for vast attainments, as well as revered for his piety. “He was skilled and versed to a criticism” in the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic, and Ethiopic tongues. This studious and exemplary minister, having attained this exalted reputation, died in 1638, at the age of seventy, and lies buried in the chancel of Quainton Church, where he dispensed the word and ordinances for three and forty years.(2)
However, contemporary biographers date Brett’s death as 15 April 1637, not 1638. Over Brett’s grave a monument with his effigies and a Latin and English epitaph was erected by his widow. By his wife Alice he left four daughters. His stone at Quainton, Bucks, shows him, his widow and his four daughters, all kneeling.(1)

Richard Brett's monument

(1) Westbrook, Vivienne Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. “Authorized Version of the Bible, translators of the (act. 1604–1611).”
(2) McClure, Alexander. (1858) The Translators Revived: A Biographical Memoir of the Authors of the English Version of the Holy Bible. Mobile, Alabama: R. E. Publications (republished by the Marantha Bible Society, 1984 ASIN B0006YJPI8 )

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Friday, 12 August 2011

Michael Rabbett - In good company

The life of Michael Rabbett seems almost completely undocumented. Like Melchizedek of old in the book of Genesis, we know neither his date of birth, nor the day of his passing from this world to the next. But, again, he is for ever remembered in heaven, for being among such illustrious company, bringing the Word of God in a definitive way to the English speaking world.

View of Great Court, Trinity College, Cambridge

Rabbett was a graduate in Divinity from Trinity College, Cambridge. He was chosen to share the responsibility of translating the epistles of Paul, along with William Barlow (Director), John Spenser, and Ralph Hutchinson. He must have been well trained in linguistic Greek, but we know little else that recommended him for the task

Michael Rabbett became Rector of St Vedast, Foster Lane, London

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