The only known writing in Tyndale’s hand still extant, this correspondence came from Tyndale sometime in the winter of 1535, as he was imprisoned in Vilvoorde Castle. It was addressed to the governor of the castle, that very Marquis of Bergen to whom Lord Chancellor Thomas Cromwell had already appealed on Tyndale’s behalf. It appears here in Tyndale’s hand, along with a printed transcription of Tyndale’s Latin and an English translation of that Latin. Note Tyndale’s respectful tone and concern for the governor’s spiritual well-being, and the centrality of Tyndale’s request for his Bible-translating books.

The Latin Transcribed

Credo non latere te, vir praestantissime, 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 veldt, 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, haec quam habeo admodum tenuis est. Item pannum ad caligas reficiendas. Diplois detrita est; camiseae detritae 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 vesper; 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 animae tuae salute fiat: Verum si aliud ...

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