Statue

William Tyndale and the Bible Society

Erection date: 7/5/1884

Inscription

{On a bronze plaque on the front of the plinth and repeated on a low plaque nearer the path:}
William Tyndale
First translator of the New Testament into English from the Greek. Born A.D. 1484, died a martyr at Vilvorde in Belgium, A.D. 1536.
"Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path" - "the entrance of thy words giveth light." Psalm CXIX. 105.130.
"And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his son." I. John V.II.
The last words of William Tyndale were "Lord! Open the King of England's eyes". Within a year afterwards, a bible was placed in every parish church by the King's command.

{On a bronze plaque on the back of the plinth:}
The following public bodies, etc, have each contributed £100.
British & Foreign Bible Society, Oxford University, Cambridge University, Sunday School Union, British & Foreign Sailors Society, Young Men's Christian Association, Polytechnic Young Men's Institute, Birmingham, Cheshire, Dorsetshire, Kent, Liverpool, Hon. Company of Grocers, St. Mary and Quebec Chapel, Proprietors of the Quiver, Court of Common Council of the City of London, Belfast, Ireland.

2023: Esther Jung asked us about a date discrepancy on this inscription: both the Oxford DNB and Wikipedia give Tyndale's date of birth as c.1494, Britannica gives c. 1490–94. we could find no site giving the 1484 claimed on the plaque.  At first we thought that in 1884 the plaque creators may have suffered numeric dyslexia, with all the 8s and 4s flying around. 

The normally definitive Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster by Philip Ward-Jackson does not help, since there 1484 is accepted, unquestioned, as Tyndale's date of birth.

But at Tyndale.org Paul Jackson makes a carefully worded comment: "This bronze statue was unveiled on May 7th 1884 in token of the 80th anniversary of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and also being the 400th anniversary of 1484, the date that the bronze plaque beneath claims for Tyndale's birth."

That suggests that the 1484 was intentional. Perhaps in the late 1800s that was the accepted date of his birth, and scholarship has since corrected it to c.1494.

We can only guess.  But the statue may owe its very existence to this error. Would the BFBS have erected the statue had they not, mistakenly, seen the fortuitous coincidence of the two anniversaries?

Site: William Tyndale and the Bible Society (1 memorial)

SW1, Victoria Embankment Gardens

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
William Tyndale and the Bible Society

Subjects commemorated i

British and Foreign Bible Society

Now simply the Bible Society, this was created by a group of people including...

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William Tyndale

First translator of the New Testament into English from Greek, burned as a ma...

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
William Tyndale and the Bible Society

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