First "Bishops Bible"
The Holie. Bible. Conteynyng the Olde Testament and the Newe.
Edited by Archbishop Matthew Parker, et al.
[London: Richard Jugge, 1568]. (Prothro B-38)
With the accession of Queen Elizabeth I (1533–1603) in 1558, the restored Church of England required a new English translation to replace the controversial “Geneva Bible” and its less popular predecessors. Seventeen ecclesiastics and biblical scholars headed by Mathew Parker (d. 1575), Archbishop of Canterbury, produced the new text. Although royal decree required that the “Bishops’ Bible” was to be placed in every cathedral and parish church, the text was of uneven quality. Today, this version is best known for its lavish production, which included engraved portraits of Queen Elizabeth’s court favorites, Sir Robert Dudley at the beginning of the Book of Joshua, and Sir William Burghley at the Psalms.