BALE, John

John Bale was an evangelical Reformer, dramatist, and bishop of Ossory. He was born on 21 November 1495 in Suffolk and by the age of twelve had entered the Carmelite friary of Norwich. In 1514 he began to study at Cambridge; he eventually became a doctor of divinity. Until 1530 he remained faithful to the Catholic church, but then he began to waver, and in 1536 he officially left the Carmelite order and took a wife, Dorothy. During the 1530s he also began to write plays, which he continued to do for the remainder of his life, although only five are extant: King Johan, God's Promises, John's Preaching, The Temptation of Our Lord, and Three Laws.
In 1540 his strongest supporter, Thomas Cromwell, fell out of favor with Henry VIII* and was executed. Subsequently Bale fled England, first to the Netherlands, then to Germany. During his eight years in exile he continued to write both plays and polemics vilifying the Catholics and praising the first Prot­estant martyrs, including William Thorpe and Anne Askew.* The accession of Edward VI persuaded Bale to return to England, and in 1552 the king appointed him bishop of Ossory in Ireland. Bale vigorously attempted to implement Prot­estantism, but met hostile resistance from both the people and the clergy there. Mary I's* accession in 1553 induced him once again to flee to Strasbourg, where he published an account of his persecution, the Vocation. He began to work closely with John Foxe* and accompanied him to Wesel, Germany, where each continued to write, Foxe on the Acts and Monuments (in Latin), and Bale on the Catalogus, a history of the English church and people that also contains an account of his own life.
After Mary's death, Bale returned to England, but did not resume his position at Ossory. He continued to revise his most well-known work, King Johan, which may have been performed for Queen Elizabeth* at Ipswich in 1561. On 15 November 1563 he died and was buried in the nave of Canterbury Cathedral. Bale was best known for his dramatic, polemical, and autobiographical writings, which have continued to provide a religious and political perspective from one who was both a recorder of and a participant in the Reformation.
P. Happe, John Bale, 1996.
Jean Akers

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bale, John — (1495–1563)    Bishop, Polemicist and Historian.    As a boy, Bale entered a Carmelite monastery and he was educated there and at the University of Cambridge. In his thirties, however, he left the order and became a determined Protestant. He was… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Bale, John — ▪ English bishop and author born Nov. 21, 1495, Cove, Suffolk, Eng. died November 1563, Canterbury, Kent       bishop, Protestant controversialist, and dramatist whose Kynge Johan is asserted to have been the first English history play. He is… …   Universalium

  • Bale, John — (1495 1563)    Historian and controversialist, b. at Cove, Suffolk, and ed. as a Carmelite friar, but becoming a Protestant, engaged in violent controversy with the Roman Catholics. After undergoing persecution and flying to Flanders, he was… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • BALE, JOHN —    bishop of Ossory, in Ireland; born in Suffolk; a convert from Popery, and supported by Cromwell; was made bishop by Edward VI.; persecuted out of the country as an apostate from Popery; author of a valuable account of early British writers… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • John Bale — (* 21. November 1495 in Cove bei Dunwich, Suffolk; † im November 1563 in Canterbury, Kent) war ein englischer Geistlicher und Dramatiker. Er gilt als einer der ersten Verfasser des Historiendramas. Mit 12 Jahren kam er in das …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Connor (Terminator) — John Connor John Connor Personnage de Terminator Alias John Reese John Baum Naissance 28& …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bale — can refer to any of the following:Places* Basel, the Swiss city, for which the French name is Bâle * Bale, Istria, Croatia * Balé Province, Burkina Faso * Bale Province, Ethiopia, a former province in Ethiopia * Bale Zone in Oromia, Ethiopia *… …   Wikipedia

  • John Connor — Personnage de fiction apparaissant dans Terminator Alias John Reese John Baum Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John N. Andrews — John Andrews John Nevins Andrews (22 juillet 1829 – 21 octobre 1883) est un pasteur, un écrivain et un rédacteur adventiste américain. Il est le premier missionnaire officiel de l Église adventiste du septième jour et le troisième président de la …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John M. Armleder — John M Armleder est un plasticien suisse né à Genève le 24 juin 1948. Internationalement reconnu, le travail de John M Armleder est avant tout un essai de transformation du statut de l’œuvre d’art au niveau de sa perception et de sa réception. La …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.