Miles Coverdale, an English divine, born in Yorkshire in 1487, died in February, 1568. He was educated in the house of the Augustine friars at Cambridge, ordained a priest in 1514, and was among the first at Cambridge to renounce allegiance to the church of Rome. Finding continued residence in England unsafe, he went abroad, and assisted Tyndale in his translation of the Bible. In 1535 he published a translation of his own, with a dedication to King Henry VIII. This was the earliest English translation of the whole Bible. No perfect copy of this edition is now known to exist, but the version of the Psalms is that still used in the "Book of Common Prayer " of the Episcopal church. In 1538 he went to Paris to superintend the publication of a new edition; but before the completion of the undertaking it was denounced by the inquisition, and the 2,500 copies already finished were condemned to the flames. A few copies, however, were sold as waste paper, and so preserved. These, with presses, types, and printers, were shortly after transported to England, and used in printing the "Great Bible" of Cranmer. Cov-erdale held the office of almoner to Queen Catharine Parr, and officiated at her funeral in 1548. In 1551, when appointed to the bishopric of Exeter, the customary payment of first fruits was remitted to him, at the solicitation of Cranmer, on account of his poverty.
On the accession of Queen Mary Coverdale was deposed and imprisoned. He was released after two years at the request of the king of Denmark, whose chaplain had married the sister of Cov-erdale's wife, but only on condition of banishment. He found an asylum first in Denmark, and afterward in Geneva, where he assisted in the English translation known as the "Genevan Bible." He returned to England on the accession of Elizabeth, but was not restored to the see of Exeter. In 1563 he was recommended to the bishopric of Llandaff, but declined, and took the rectory of St. Magnus, London bridge. This he resigned in 1566. His last days were spent in translating the writings of the continental reformers, and publishing original tracts in support of the principles of the reformation. He was buried in the church of St. Bartholomew, London, Feh. 19, 1568. On Oct. 4, 1835, was celebrated the third centenary of the publication of his Bible.