A call to translators

Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury (1563-1612)
Letter to the Vice-Chancellor and heads of colleges, 22 July 1604

The most widely-read and influential of English Bible translations, the Authorized or King James version was conceived in 1604 and first published in 1611. To produce it, six teams of translators were formed, two each in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and two in Westminster. The teams were to work on different portions of the Bible, drawing heavily on the English versions produced by William Tyndale and his successors in the sixteenth century, before their own work was circulated amongst the others and revised for publication. In this letter, Robert Cecil writes in his capacity as Chancellor of Cambridge University to the Vice-Chancellor and heads of houses to urge the Cambridge translators on, and to look for ‘any fitt men to joyne with the rest therein’.

UA, Lett.II.A.C.4.I.i

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