The Tudor Society

November 21 – John Bale, a playwright, historian, exile and bishop

On this day in Tudor history, 21st November 1495, John Bale was born in Suffolk.

John Bale was a churchman, Protestant playwright, historian and Bishop of Ossory. He wrote twenty-four plays and “Illustrium majoris Britanniae scriptorum, hoc est, Angliae, Cambriae, ac Scotiae Summarium...”, a book on famous British writers, which is his most well-known work. His work on Protestant martyrs was also used by the famous martyrologist John Foxe.

John Bale spent a fair amount of time in exile due to his faith, and he also courted controversy with his attacks on Catholics.

Find out all about this accomplished Tudor man...

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