- T h e P o r t r a i t
o f W i l l i a m T y n d a l e
- The artist of this portrait which hangs in the dining-hall of Hertford College, Oxford, is unknown. The latin texts of the picture are the following:
GVLIELMVS TINDALVS MARTYR.
OLIM EX AVLA MAGD.
Hac ut luce suas dispergam Roma tenebras
Sponte ex terris ero sponte Sacrificium.
REFERT HÆC TABELLA QVOD SOLUM POTVIT ARS GVILHELMI TYNDAIL. HVIVS OLIM AVLÆ ALVMNI. SIMVL ET ORNAMENTI. QVI POST FÆLICES PVRIORIS THEOLOGIÆ PRIMITIAS HIC DEPOSITAS ANTVERPIÆ IN NOVO TESTAMENTO NEC NON PENTATEVCHO IN VERNACULAM TRANSFERENDO OPERAM NAVAVIT. ANGLIS SVIS EO VSQ SALVTIFERAM. VT INDE NON IMMERITO ANGLIÆ APOSTOLUS AVDIRET MARTYRIO WILFORDÆ PROPE BRVXELLAS CORONATVS. A[NN]O. 1536. VIR SI VEL ADVERSARIO (PROCURATORI NEMPE IMPER[A]TORIS GENERALI) CREDAMVS PERDOCTVS PIVS ET BONVS.
WILLIAM TYNDALE MARTYR
SOMETIME FROM THE HALL MAGD[ALEN]
To scatter Roman darkness by this light
The loss of land and life I'll reckon slight.
This picture represents, as far as art could, William Tyndale, sometime student of this Hall [Magdalen] and its ornament, who, after establishing here the happy beginnings of a purer theology, at Antwerp devoted his energies to translating into the vernacular the New Testament and the Pentateuch, a labour so greatly tending to the salvation of his fellow-countrymen that he was rightly called the Apostle of England. He gained a martyr's crown at Vilvoorde near Brussels in 1536, a man, if we may believe even his adversary (the Emperor's Procurator General), learned, pious, and good.
(Translations from David Daniell's biography, Yale University Press 1994)