Biography of William Tyndale by Robert Demaus

William Tyndale

Download a free copy of Robert Demaus’s biography of the renowned Engloish Bible translator and reformer William Tyndale. This public domain title was digitised using one of the copies held in Spurgeon’s College Library.

Robert Demaus [1829?-1874], William Tyndale. A Biography. A Contribution to the Early History of the English Bible. London: The Religious Tract Society, n.d. Hbk. pp.504. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  1. Early Life. A.D. 1484-1521
  2. Tyndale’s Life at Little Sodbury. A.D. 1521-1523
  3. Tyndale’s Life in London. A.D. 1523-1524
  4. FromTyndale’s Arrival in Hamburg to the Printing of the First English New Testament. A.D. 1524-1526
  5. Tyndale’s First New Testament: Descriptions of the Book in its Two Forms: Tyndale’s Qualifications as a Translator: Specimens of his Work
  6. Tyndale’s Life at Worms: Reception of the New Testament in England: Literary Labours: Hostility of Wolsey. A.D. 1523-1527
  7. Tynsale at MArburg: Publishes “The Wicked Mammon” and “The Obedience of a Christian Man” A.D. 1528
  8. Marburg: Antwerp: Hamburg: Publication of the “Pentateuch” and “The Practice of Preolates” A.D. 1529-1530
  9. Controversy with Sir Thomas More
  10. Tyndale at Antwerp: Negociations to induce him to Return to England: Interview with VaughanL His Continued Literary Labours. A.D. 1531
  11. Attempts to Seize Tyndale: His Renewed Wanderings: Continued Literary Labours: Fryth Arrested and Martyred in England: Tyndale’s Letter to Fryth: His FInal Remova; to Antwerp. A.D. 1532-1533
  12. Tyndale’s Life in Antwerp: Revision of the New Testament: Controversy with George Joye: Tyndale Seized. A.D. 1535-1536.
  13. Arrest of Tyndale: His Imprisonment, Trial, and Martydom. A.D. 1535-1536
  • Appendix. Mr Anderson’s Account of the First Introduction of Tyndale’s New Testament into England
  • Flemish Document
  • The New Testament of 1535

Biography of Hugh Latimer by Rebecca & Alexander Carlyle

Rebecca Monteith Carlyle [1862-1941] & Alexander James Carlyle [1861-1943], Hugh Latimer

A brief biography of the English reformer Hugh Latimer [c. 1487 – 16 October 1555]. My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this public domain book for digitisation.

Rebecca Monteith Carlyle [1862-1941] & Alexander James Carlyle [1861-1943], Hugh Latimer. London: Methuen & Co., 1899. Hbk. pp.177. [Click to visit the download page]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Life of Latimer
  • Index


It is difficult to write a life of any of the more important personages of the English Reformation; it is difficult to write without prejudice, and the documents of the last part of the reign of Henry VIII. and of the reign of Edward VI. have not yet been calendared. We have endeavoured to give a brief account of Latimer’s life and doings, without attempting to deal in detail with the great critical and controversial questions of the time; some will, no doubt, think this improper, but we should like to point out that Latimer’s position in English History is not of the kind to make a life 0£ him a convenient starting-point for a discussion of the complicated circumstances of those times.

We have to express our obligations to Canon Dixon’s History of the Church of England in the Time of the Reformation, especially for the reign of Edward VI. and Queen Mary…

Page v.

Martin Luther, Hero of the Reformation by Ellen Velvin

This short book on Martin Luther was written with young people in mind and is part of the “Splendid Lives ” Series, published by the Sunday School Union. It contains 16 black and white, pen and ink illustrations.

The copy provided by Book Aid for digitisation bears a Sunday School Award Plate dating from 1904, for “Good Behaviour and Regular Attendance”. This title is in the public domain.

Ellen Velvin [1826-1918], Martin Luther. The Hero of the Reformation. London: The Sunday School Union, 1897. bk. pp.144. [Click to visit the download page]


  1. Birth and Parentage
  2. Boyhood
  3. Education
  4. At Erfurt University
  5. Monastic Life
  6. Priesthood
  7. First Visit to Rome
  8. Friends and Foes
  9. The Reformation
  10. Reformation – Continued
  11. The Wartburg
  12. Return to Wittenburg
  13. Marriage
  14. Private and Public Work
  15. Closing Years
  16. Death

Chapter 1: Birth and Parentage

Of the many “Splendid Lives” which have, from time to time, benefited and enlightened the world, accomplishing great tasks, combating great evils, and dissipating the gloom of ignorance and superstition, that of Martin Luther, the great Reformer, is second to none.

Martin Luther was born on the eve of the festival day of St. Martin of Tours-hence his name-on 10th November 1483, at Eisleben, in the Duchy of Mansfeld, in Thuringia. His surname, Luther (Lyder, Ltider, Ludher, or, as some say, Lothar or Lothair), is supposed to be derived from Lauter, which means “clear” or “pure.” This was the generally accepted meaning of the word, but another interpretation is that Lutherus and Lotharius are synonymous, Lotharius (“King of Men”) being a name given to royal, imperial, and illustrious personages.

Hans Luther, his father, who was a miner or slate-cutter by trade, and belonged to a family of free peasants at Möhra…

Luther and the German Reformation by Thomas M. Lindsay

Thomas Martin Lindsay [1843-1914], Luther and The German ReformationThis life of Martin Luther has been reprinted numerous times, which is testimony to its enduring value. This title is in the public domain.

Thomas Martin Lindsay [1843-1914], Luther and The German Reformation. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1900. Hbk. pp.300. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Preface
  1. Introduction
  2. Lutehr’s Childhood and Education, 1483-1505
  3. The Years of Preparation, 1505-1517
  4. Indulgence Controversy, 1517-1519
  5. The Three Great Reformation Treatises, 1520
  6. At the Diet of Worms, 1521
  7. In the Wartburg. From 4th 1521 to 3rd 1522
  8. The Progress of the Reformation, 1522-1525
  9. Political and Social Revolts, 1522-1525
  10. Marriage, Family and Public Life
  11. Laying the Foundations of the Evangelical Church
  12. The Last Years of Luther’s Life
  • Chronological Summary
  • List of Books Consulted
  • Index


Although Luther’s life has been written scores of times, it has always seemed to me that there is room for another – for one which will be careful to set Luther in the environment of the common social life of his time. For it is often forgotten that the sixteenth century, in which he was the most outstanding figure, saw the beginnings of our present social life in almost everything, from our way of looking at politics and our modes of trade to our underclothing. To show what that life was, and to show Luther in it, would, it seems to me, bring him nearer us than has yet been done.

I do not for a moment pretend that this little book is even a sketch of the Reformer’s life written in this way. That needed far more space than was permitted. Yet I have had the thought before me in writing, and for that reason have been careful to make as much use as possible of contemporary evidence….


Story of the Scottish Covenanters by James D. Douglas

James Dixon Douglas [1922-2003], Light in the North. The Story of the Scottish CovenantersDr. James D. Douglas’s contribution to the Paternoster Church History series on the Story of the Scottish Covenanters has never been reprinted. The digital rights were never transferred to the Publisher and, despite extensive inquiries, I have been unable to trace the author’s literary executor. I have decided, therefore, to go ahead and place this volume on-line in the hope that anyone who has any knowledge of the copyright holder would make contact with me.

James Dixon Douglas [1922-2003], Light in the North. The Story of the Scottish Covenanters. Exeter: The Paternoster Press, 1964. Hbk. pp.220. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Foreword
  • Preface
  1. Introduction
  2. The Church Under Charles I
  3. The Early Covananting Writers
  4. Developments the Commonwealth
  5. The Restoration and the First Martyrs
  6. Presbyterianism Outlawed
  7. The First Revolt
  8. The First and Second Indulgences
  9. The Second Revolt
  10. The Killing Time
  11. The Revolution Settlement
  12. Covenanters Overseas
  13. Conclusion


  1. The King’s Confession, 1580 [1581]
  2. The National Covenant, 1638
  3. The Solemn League and Covenant, 1643
  4. Oath Required by the Test Act, 1681
  • Bibliography
  • Index

From the Dustjacket

The Story of the Scottish Covenanters has a significance far beyond that of a local squabble in a provincial backwater in the seventeenth century. Limited though it was in space and time, it focussed attention upon a crucial issue which the Christian Church has had to face thoughout its history, and which is as acute today as ever it was.

That issue, as anotehr Scottish historian, Dr. Stuart Walker, has shown in The Growing Storm, the second volume in the Paternoster Church history, was not he question as to whcih form of Church order and government was the most apostolic – episcopacy, presbytery, independency, or any other form. The issue in the so-called “Dark Ages”, as in seventeenth century England and Scotland, was nothing less than the Crown Rights of Christ the Redeemer to be King of His people, Master of His household, and Lord of His Church. On that rock the mediaeval papacy foundered; that same rock was to bring shipwreck to Mary Queen of Scots and Charles I, to cost James II his throne, and to shatter the Stuart dynasty.

This issue Dr. Douglas keeps clearly before him in this timely and important book. Here is no fulsome adulation of the Covenanters, as if they had no faults. Still less as they written off as ignorant meddlers in matters too high for them, or pig-headed obscurantists refusing to face facts. Both sides are painted “warts and all”, and in the light of the principle that was at stake the protagonists on both sides are revealed as the men they were and are remembered for the work they did.

Luther and Reformation by James Atkinson

James Atkinson, The Great Light. Luther and Reformation.

James Atkinson’s masterly analysis of Martin Luther’s role in the Reformation is volume 4 in the Paternoster Church History series, edited by F.F. Bruce. It also covers Calvin, Zwingli, Henry VIII, Edward VI,. Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I.

The Paternoster Press has never held the digital rights for this title. All reasonable efforts have been made to contact the current copyright holder without success. If you hold the rights or know who does, please contact me.

James Atkinson, The Great Light. Luther and Reformation. The Paternoster Church History, Vol. IV. Exeter: The Paternoster Press, 1968. PHbk. ISBN: 085364084X. pp.287. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Preface
  1. Luther’s Discovery of Evangelical Theology
  2. Luther Teaches Evangelical Theology
  3. The Papacy Repudiates Evangelical Theology
  4. Luther Faces the Problems of the Reformation
  5. Luther’s Reconstruction of the Church in Saxony on Evangelical Principles, 1525-32
  6. Developments to the Death of Charles V, 1532-58
  7. Zwingli and His Background
  8. The Reformation in Switzerland
  9. Calvin’s Life and Work
  10. Calvin’s Theology
  11. The Reign of Henry VIII, 1509-47
  12. The Reign of Edward VI, 1547-53
  13. The Marian Reaction, 1553-8
  14. Scotland: Saviour of the Reformation
  15. Elizabeth, 1558-1603
  16. The Church Under Elizabeth
  • Chronological Tables
  • Bibliography
  • Index


The Reformation has a significance that is permanent, for in that century the Reformers everywhere in Europe challenged a faithless, secularized Church with the authority of the original Gospel, a challenge that is relevant at all times and in all places to both Protestant and Catholic alike. This volume deals with Luther’ s fruitless struggle to find a gracious God, through which agony God found him; his consequent reformation of the Church by this rediscovered evangelical theology of faith in Christ only; his stand against Pope and Emperor on the unshakeable ground of the Bible, conscience and common sense; his establishment of the evangelical Church in Saxony. There is recounted the brief, tragic history of Zwingli, and his somewhat Erasmian reformation of Zürich and the surrounding region….

Philip Melanchthon by George Wilson

George Wilson [d.1897], Philip Melanchthon 1497-1560.This short work on the life of Philip Melanchthon was the last written by George Wilson [1840-1897], who sadly died before the book was published. It contains a number of excellent prints which I am making available at different resolutions. My thanks to Book Aid for making available a copy of this book for scanning. This title is in the public domain.

George Wilson [d.1897], Philip Melanchthon 1497-1560. London: Religious Tract Society, 1897. Hbk. pp.159. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Editor’s Preface
  1. Memories of Childhood
  2. Heidelberg
  3. Tübingen
  4. Early Years in Wittenberg
  5. In Wittenberg – Luther’s Death
  6. Later Years in Wittenberg
  7. Philip Melanchthon at Home
  8. The Sunset
  9. Melanchthon’s Library
  • Index

Chapter 1: Memories of Childhood

When some pensive hour in later life, the thoughts of Philip Melanchthon would turn from his Wittenberg study to the days when he was a child, they led him, in imaginative memory, to a little town near the valley of the Rhine. A pleasant little town, reposing independently on its hilly slopes, and surrounded by vineyards and cultivated fields. The burghers are moving about the streets or standing at their doors in the sun ; there are children here and there ; and never long out of sight two or three comfortable ecclesiastics. The town has a serviceable wall round it, which more than once has been honourably defended. Within it and among the houses are open spaces and gardens; and, through the gates looking towards the country, there are glimpses of wooded hills. In all respects a place where honest labour seems ever alternating with rest ; while, in visions of · memory, a warm sunshine seems to fold it in the stillness of a dream….

English Bible Under the Tudor Sovereigns

Pulpit Bible

This book was written as part of the celebration of the Fourth Centenary of the “setting up” of th English Bible in Parish Churches. “Setting up” refers to the placing from 1538 of a large vernacular Bible in every parish church so that anyone who could read could have access to it. W.T. Whitley traces the history of English Bible and translators through the Tudor period. This title is in the public domain.

W.T. Whitley [1861-1947], The English Bible Under the Tudor Sovereigns. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, n.d. Hbk. pp.127. [Click to visit the download page]


I. Erasmus and His Double Testament
II. The Wycliffite Versions
II. Tyndale: The Translator
IV. Coverdale: Editor of the First English Bible
V. Matthew: The First Licensed for Reading
VI. Taverner: Official Reviser
VII. The First Authorized Version
VIII. The Bible in Daily Worship
IX. The Family Bible and the Church Bible
X. The Douay Bible, for the Old School
XI. Thus Far, and Farther


The following pages are based on direct study of early Bibles, begun a generation ago. At least one copy of every first edition has been examined. Reprints of most are on the author’s shelves. A deliberate re-interpretation of some persons and episodes will be found.

It is intended to commemorate the royal order of September 1538, that a Bible of the largest size be placed in every church. A national committee regards this Injunction as crucial in inaugurating the Reformation in England, and it proposes to celebrate the four-hundredth anniversary. In preparation, several pamphlets and books have been chosen, others have been revised, others are being written. This is the first to appear.

Attention is drawn here especially to Thomas Matthew’s edition of 1537 for several reasons. First, because the editor was the first to give his name openly, a sign that in 1537 public opinion no longer compelled anonymity….

Merle d’Aubigné’s History of the Reformation Vols. 1-5

Jean-Henri Merle d'Aubigné (16 August 1794 – 21 October 1872)
Jean-Henri Merle d’Aubigné (16 August 1794 – 21 October 1872). Artist unknown – Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, No. 270, November, 1872., Public Domain. Source: Wikipedia

Jean-Henri Merle d’Aubigné (16 August 1794 – 21 October 1872) was a Swiss historian of the Reformation, His writings reflect the thoroughness of his research and some are still in-print today. This title is in the public domain.

Jean-Henri Merle d’Aubigné [1794-1872], History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, Vols. 1-5. London: Religious Tract Society, 1846[?]. Hbk. pp.867. [Click to visit the download page for this book]


  • Preface
  1. State of Europe Before the Reformation
  2. The Youth, Conversion, and Early Labours of Luther – 1483-1517
  3. The Indulgences and trh Theses – 1517 – May 1518
  4. Luther Before the Legate – May to December 1518
  5. The Liepsic Disputation – 1519
  6. The Papal Bull – 1520
  7. The Diet of Worms – 1521, January to May
  8. The Swiss. 1484-1522
  9. First Reforms – 1521 and 1522
  10. Agitation, Reverses, and Progress. 1522-1526
  11. Switzerland – Germany. 1523-1527
  12. The French. 1500-1526
  13. The Protest and the Conference. 1526-1529
  14. The Augsberg Confession – 1530
  15. Switzerland – Conquests. 1526-1530
  16. Switzerland – Catastrophe. 1528-1531
  17. England Before the Reformation
  18. The Revival of the Church
  19. The English New Testament and the Court of Rome
  20. The Two Divorces


I have been often requested to publish an English Edition of the first three volumes, of my History of the Reformation, carefully revised and corrected by myself, and which might thus become a Standard Edition in Great Britain.

I have acknowledged the necessity of this task. In fact, without overlooking the merit of the different English translations of this work; even the best, I am compelled to· say, have failed in conveying my thoughts in several passages; and in some cases this inaccuracy has been of serious consequence. I will mention one instance.

At the end of the year 1844, I received several letters from the United States, in-forming me that, besides 75,000 copies of my History put in circulation by different American booksellers. The American Tract Society had printed an edition of 24,000 copies, which they sold through the instrumentality of more than a hundred hawkers (colporteurs), principally in the New Settlements….

Wayside Sketches in Ecclesiastical History. 9 Lectures by Charles Bigg

John Wycliffe, subject of Ecclsiastical History Lecture 5
John Wycliffe, subject of Ecclsiastical History Lecture 5. Image from William Henry Beckett [1847-1901], The English Reformation of the Sixteenth Century with Chapters on Monastic England, and the Wycliffite Reformation. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1890. Hbk. p.63.
Professor Bigg’s nine lectures on various aspects of ecclesiastical history were given a different times and to different audiences, Nevertheless, but he sees the common thread of the development of the church running through them. This title is in the public domain.

Charles Bigg [1840–1908], Wayside Sketches in Ecclesiastical History. Nine Lectures with Notes and Preface. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1906. Hbk. pp.230. [Click to visit the download page for this volume]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  1. Prudentius
  2. Paulinus of Nola
  3. Sidonius Apollinaris
  4. Grossteste
  5. Wycliffe
  6. A Kempis
  7. The English Reformation – I
  8. The English Reformation – II
  9. The English Reformation – III


One of the most notable events of the fourteenth century was the removal of the papacy from Rome to Avignon. It lasted from 1305 to 1378, and was followed by the Great Schism, from 1378 to 1414, during which there were two rival popes, one at Rome, the other at Avignon.

Avignon was in France though not of it. The city belonged to the King of Naples, who was also Count of Provence. The choice of this place of exile was determined by the struggle between Philip IV. of France and Boniface VIII., and this struggle was the direct result of the new temporal sovereignty of the Pope. Crushed between two formidable rivals, the Emperor and the King of France, the Pope put himself under the protection of the latter, and by this act became the bishop in the French political game of chess…