In the will of William Sterling Lacy, Drury was bequeathed his father's Great Bible. What became of it? Efforts to fine it have been fruitless. Thinking that Drury might have left it to the Hampdon-Syndey College, of which he was so much a part for so long, inquiry was made there. They knew nothing of it. This Bible might have contained the answers to many of the unknowns for which we are so eagerly seeking today. (Hubert W. Lacey)
As a matter of interest, the term Great Bible usually refers to that edition known as Miles Coverdale's Bible in the Episcopalian Church, and preceded the King James version. It was printed in 1539 and quoting from the Enc. Britannica, 11th Edition (1911), Vol. 3, p. 900:-
Cromwell had planned the work on a large scale, too large evidently for the re-sources of the English presses, for it was determined that the printing should be entrusted to Francis Regnault, a famous Paris printer. At the request of Henry VIII, a license was granted to Renault for this purpose by Frances I, while Coverdale and Grafton were sent over in 1538 to superintend the work as it passed through the press. The work was pressed forward with all speed, for as Coverdale writes to Cromwell, they were daily threatened and feared to be spoken withall. Indeed, when the printing was far advanced, on the 17th of December, 1538, its further progress was interdicted by the Inquisitor-general for France, and orders were given to seize the whole of the impression. Coverdale and Grafton left Paris quickly, but soonreturned, rescued a great number of the finished sheets, four great dry-vats full of them having been sold to a haberdasher instead of being burnt, - and conveyed types, printing presses and workmen to England. Thus the volume which had begun in Paris in 1538 was completed in London, the colophon stating that it was Fynisshed in Apryll, Anno M, CCC, XXXIX. It was a splendid folio Bible of the largest volume, and was distinguished from its predecessors by the name of THE GREAT BIBLE.
Return to Lacey Homepage