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William Tyndale
ca. 1494 - 1536



The letter from prison
is the only exstant example
of Tyndale's handwriting

T y n d a l e ' s   l e t t e r
t o   t h e   V i l v o r d e  
P r i s o n   G o v e r n o r ,
t h e   M a r q u i s  
o f   B e r g e n - o p - Z o o m

Autumn 1535


Latin text:

      Credo non latere te, vir præstantissime, quid de me statutum sit. Quam ob rem, tuam dominationem rogatum habeo, idque per Dominum Jesum, ut si mihi per hiemem hic manendum sit, solicites apud dominum commissarium, si forte dignari velit, de rebus meis quas habet, mittere calidiorem birettum; frigus enim patior in capite nimium, oppressus perpetuo catarro qui sub testitudine nonnihil augetur. Calidiorem quoque tunicam, nam, hæc quam abeo admodum tenuis est. Item pannum ad caligas reficiendas. Duplois [sic in original by mistake for diplois] detrita est; camiseæ detritæ sunt etiam. Camiseam laneam habet, si mittere velit. Habeo quoque apud eum caligas ex crassiori panno ad superius induendum; nocturna biretta calidiora habet etiam: utque vesperi lucernam habere liceat; tediosum quidem est per tenebras solitarie sedere.

      Maxime autem omnium tuam clementiam rogo atque obsecro ut ex animo agere velit apud dominum commissarium quatenus dignari velit mihi concedere Bibliam Hebraicam, Grammaticam Hebraicam, et Vocabularium Hebraicum, ut eo studio tempus conteram. Sic tibi obtingat quod maxime optas modo cum animæ tuæ salute fiat: Verum si aliud consilium de me ceptum [sic] est, hiemem perficiendum omnem, patiens ero, Dei expectans voluntatem, ad gloriam gratiæ Domini mei Jesu Christi, Cujus Spiritus tuum semper regat pectus. Amen.

      W. Tindalus.


      I believe, right worshipful, that you are not ignorant of what has been determined concerning me; therefore I entreat your Lordship, and that by the Lord Jesus, that if I am to remain here during the winter, you will request the Procureur to be kind enough to send me from my goods, which he has in his possession, a warmer cap, for I suffer extremely from cold in the head, being afflicted with a perpetual catarrh, which is considerably increased in the cell. A warmer coat also, for that which I have is very thin: also a piece of cloth to patch my leggings: my overcoat has been worn out; my shirts are also worn out. He has a woollen shirt of mine, if he will be kind enough to send it. I have also with him leggings of thicker cloth for the putting on above; he also has warmer caps for wearing at night. I wish also his permission to have a candle in the evening, for it is wearisome to sit alone in the dark.

      But above all, I entreat and beseech your clemency to be urgent with the Procureur that he may kindly permit me to have my Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Grammar, and Hebrew Dictionary, that I may spend my time with that study. And in return, may you obtain your dearest wish, provided always it be consistent with the salvation of your soul. But if any other resolution has been come to concerning me, before the winter is over, I shall be patient, abiding the will of God to the glory of the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, whose Spirit, I pray, may ever direct your heart. Amen.

      W. Tindalus
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