« Baldwin Bale, John Ball, John »

Bale, John

BALE, JOHN: English polemical writer of the Reformation period; b. at Cove, near Dunwich, Suffolk (25 m. n.e. of Ipswich), Nov. 21, 1495; d. at Canterbury Nov. 1563. He was educated in the Carmelite monastery at Norwich, and at Jesus College, Cambridge; embraced the Reformation, married, and had to seek refuge in Germany in 1540; returned under Edward VI, was made Bishop of Ossory, in Ireland, 1552, and tried to introduce reformed doctrines and practise with an intemperate zeal; fled to the Continent after the accession of Mary, and lived for some years at Basel; returned under Elizabeth, and was made prebendary of Canterbury in 1560. He wrote much and with a coarseness and bitterness in controversy which gained him the name of “Bilious Bale.” His principal work is Illustrium majoris Britanniæ scriptorum summarium (Ipswich, 1548; enlarged editions, Basel, 1557 and 1559); he also became noted as a writer of miracle plays in which he violently attacked the Roman Church. His play Kynge Johan has been published by the Camden Society (1838); and the Parker Society has published a selection of his works (1849), with biographical notice by H. Christmas.

Bibliography: The fullest account of his life is in C. H. Cooper, Athenæ Cantabrigienses, London, 1858.

« Baldwin Bale, John Ball, John »
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