Edward Lively 1545 - 1605

Trinity College, Cambridge

Edward left behind eleven children, five of whom were sons. We know the names of three sons: John Lively; Edward Lively Jr.; Lorkin Lively.

Edward Lively ( Sr.) had an older brother, Richard Lively, who was born about 1538 and died December 1598 in Romanldkirk, Yorks. Richard matriculated from Jesus College (Cambridge) Michs, 1558; was ordained priest at Lincoln, September 19, 1563, became Vicar of Maxey, Northandts. In 1563-1585 R. of Market Deeping, Lincs., 1570; age 35; married; skilled in Latin, R. of Romanldkirk, Yorks, 1585. Buried there December 18, 1598. Richard was the father of:

i. Alexander Lively - B.A. from Corpus Christi College, 1578-9.

ii. Samuel Lively, born March 1588 or 1589; died about November 21, 1649, Newcastle, England. Matriculated pens, from St. John's College (Cambridge) Easter 1607. Buried at All Saints, Newcastle.

iii. James Lively. Born about 1597, England, probably Cambridge.

An excerpt from: "The Literary Lineage of the King James Bible, 1340 - 1611".

"The preliminary arrangements seem to have been entrusted to the Regius Professors of Hebrew for the two universities - Dr. John Harding of Oxford, and Mr. Edward Lively for Cambridge, and to the Dean of Westminster, Lancelot Andrewes . . ."

In King James view, the Greek, Latin and Hebrew versions of the bible was not a document that made itself readily available to the general population in England. Many officials of the church, but not all, could answer questions, interpret passages and otherwise communicate the bible's content to the interested populace, but many thought this gave too much power to church officials and could lead to interpretations that suited only the clergy. Many in the clergy did protest the idea of an English language bible, some citing that the mere act of translation would alter meanings.

King James I thought otherwise and formed a commission of three scholars who were charged with forming a larger commission of translators to do the actual work. EDWARD LIVELY was among the three. These three were Dr. John Harding; Regius Professor of Hebrew, Edward Lively; and Dean of Westminster, Lancelot Andrews. These three set the rule and policies for the conduct of work and made recommendations to the King to fill out the commission. Of EDWARD LIVELY, it is said he was one of the best linguists in the world, expert in Hebrew. His death in mid-1605 is reported to have set back the translation work considerably.

A listing of Translators:

First Westminster Company - - translated the historical books beginning with Genesis and ending with the Second Book of Kings:

Dr. Lancelot Andrews - Dean of Westminster, presided over the Westminster Company. It was said of Dr. Andrewes, "The world wanted learning to know how learned this man was, so skilled in all languages, that some conceive he might, if then living, almost have served as an interpreter-general at the confusion of tongues." He became Bishop of Chichester, Ely and Winchester. Born 1555, died 1626.

Dr. John Overall was made Professor of Divinity at Cambridge in 1596, and in 1604 was Dean of St. Paul's, London. He was considered by some the most scholarly divine in England. In 1614 he was made Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry. He transferred to the See of Norwich in 1618. Born 1559, died 1619.

Dr. Hadrian Saravia - Hebraist. It is said Dr. Saravia was the only foreigner employed on the work. He was born in Artois, France; his father was a Spaniard; his mother a Belgian. In 1582 he was Professor of Divinity at Leyden; in 1587 he came to England. He became Prebend of Canterbury, and afterward Canon of Westminster. He was noted for his knowledge of Hebrew. Born in 1531, died 1612.

Dr. Richard Clarke

Dr. John Laifield

Dr. Robert Tighe

Francis Burleigh

Geoffry King

Richard Thompson

Dr. William Bedwell - called the greatest Arabic scholar of that era. At his death he left unfinished MSS of an Arabic Lexicon, and also of a Persian Dictionary.

Cambridge Company - translated Chronicles to the end of Song of Songs:

Edward Lively - Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge, and thus at the head of the Cambridge company, was eminent for his knowledge of Oriental languages, especially Hebrew. He died in 1605, having been Professor of Hebrew for twenty-five years. His death in 1605 was a great loss to the work he had helped begin.

Dr. John Richardson

Dr. Lawrence Chadderton - scholar of Greek and Hebrew and the writings of the Rabbis. He was thirty-eight years Master of Emanuel College, Cambridge, and well versed in Rabbinical learning. He was one of the few Puritan divines among the translators. Born 1537, died 1640 at 103.

Francis Dillingham

Dr. Roger Andrews

Thomas Harrison - expert in Hebrew and Greek idioms

Dr. Robert Spaudling - Regius Professor of Hebrew

Dr. Andrew Bing

Oxford Company - translated beginning of Isaiah to the end of the Old Testament:

Dr. John Harding - Regius Professor of Hebrew

Dr. John Reynolds - Leader of the Puritan Party, President of Corpus Christi College. It was Dr. Reynolds who first suggested to King James of the translation. He died before the revision was completed but worked at it during his last sickness as long as his strength permitted. Born 1549, died 1607.

Dr. Thomas Holland was Regius Professor of Divinity in Exeter College, Oxford, also a Master of his college. He was considered a prodigy in all branches of literature. Born 1539, died 1612.

Dr. Richard Kilbye, Oxford Professor of Hebrew, was reckoned among the first Hebraists of his day. Died 1620.

Dr. Miles Smith - Canon of Hereford, Hebrew scholar. A student of classical authors from his youth, was well acquainted with the Rabbinical learning, and well versed in Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac and Arabic. He was often called a "walking library". Born 1568, died 1624.

Dr. Richard Brett - scholar of Latin, Greek, Arabic, Ethiopic.

Daniel Fairclough

Second Oxford Company - translated the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Revelation of St. John the Divine:

Dr. Thomas Ravis

Dr. George Abbot

Dr. Richard Eedes

Dr. Giles Tomson

Sir Henry Saville - known for the Chrysostom, Editor. Warden at Merton College, Oxford for thirty-six years. He devoted his fortune to the encouragement of learning and was himself a fine Greek scholar. Born 1549, died 1622.

Dr. John Peryn

Dr. Ralph Ravens

Dr. John Harmer - Professor of Greek, notable Latin expert.

Fifth Company of Translators at Westminster - translated all of the Epistles of the New Testament:

Dr. John Barlow

Dr. John Spencer

Dr. Roger Fenton

Dr. Ralph Hutchinson

William Dakins

Michael Rabbet

Thomas Sanderson

Sixth Company of Translators at Cambridge - translated the apocryhal books:

Dr. John Duport

Dr. William Brainthwaite

Dr. Jeremiah Radcliffe

Dr. Samuel Ward

Dr. Andrew Downes - Greek expert

John Bois - Greek and Hebrew scholar. At six years of age could write Hebrew elegantly. He was twelve years chief lecturer in Greek at St. Johns College, Cambridge. Bishop Andrewes of Ely made him a prebend in his church in 1615. He was one of the most laborious of all the reviewers. Born 1560, died 1643.

Dr. John Ward

Dr. John Aglionby

Dr. Leanard Hutten

Dr. Thomas Bilson

Dr. Richard Bancroft


Oxford University Press 1995: Lively, Edward 1545? - 1605

Occupation: Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge, Trinity College 1584 -1605

Buried: St. Edward's, Cambridge

Spouse: Catherine Lorkin, daughter of Thomas Lorkin

Funeral Sermon by Thomas Playfere, D.D., condensed as follows: (Actual translation)

"Edward Lively, 1545 - 1605, Regius Hebrew Professor at Cambridge, born in or about 1545, was matriculated at Cambridge as a sizar of Trinity College in February 1564-5, and afterwards became a scholar of that house. In 1568-9 he graduated B.A. He was admitted a minor fellow of Trinity College on 24 September 1571, and a major fellow on 18 April 1572. In the latter year he commenced M.A. (Cooper, Athenae Cantabr. ii. 407,554). In the dedication of his "Chronologie of the Monarchy" he acknowledges that he owed his scholarship and fellowship, besides other greater benefits, to the good will of Archbishop Whitgift. During his residence in the university he received instruction in Hebrew from the famous John Drusius. About May 1575 he was unanimously elected Regius Professor of Hebrew, in spite of the fact that Lord Burghley, chancellor of the university, had recommended the appointment of Philip Begnon. His fellowship became vacant in or before 1578, when he married Catherine, daughter of Thomas Lorkin (q.v.) Regius Professor of Physics. In 1584 Lively was one of four persons whom Archbishop Whitgift recommended for the deanery of Peterborough. On 21 June 1602 he was collated to a prebend in that cathedral (LE NEVE, Fasti, ed. Hardy, ii. 545). He was one of the fifty-four learned men appointed by King James in 1604 to make the "authorised" translation of the Bible, and on 20 September in that year he was presented by his majesty to the rectory of Burleigh, Essex, at the instance of Archbishop Bancroft. Previously he had always been in pecuniary difficulties, but he was now well provided for. He died in 1605, and was buried on 7 May at St. Edward's, Cambridge. He left eleven children, "destitute of necessaries for their maintenance" . Ussher, Eyre, Pocock, and Gataker speak in eulogistic terms of Lively's attainments as a Hebrew scholar. His works are: 1. "Annotationes in quinq. priores ex Minoribus Prophetis, cum Latina eorum inyerpretatione 1/4 ad normam Hebraicae veritatis diligenter examinata," London, 1587, 12mo; reprinted in Pearson's "Critici Sacri," 1660. Dedicated to Sir Francis Walsingham. 2. "A True Chronologie of the True Times of the Persian Monarchie and after to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Wherein by the was briefly is handled the day of Christ his birth: with a declaration of the Angel Gabriels message to Daniel in the end of his ninth chapter against the frivolous conceits of Matthew Beroald," London, 1597, 12mo. Dedicated to Archbishop Whitgift. 3. "Commentationes in Martinium," manuscript in the Cambridge University Library, EE. 6. 23. It is a commentary on the Hebrew Grammer of Peter Martinius. 4. "Treatise touching the canonical Books of the Old Testament," manuscript in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, F. 106. 5. "Chronologia a' Mundo Condito ad annun 3598," 2 vols., manuscript in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, F. 88, 89."

"Summary: Born about 1545, England and died May 7, 1605 while in the service of King James I on the transcription of the Latin Bible to the English language "King James Bible". Married Catherin Lorkin the daughter of another Regius Professor (Physics) Thomas Lorkin. Eleven children. He wrote, among other publications, "A True Chronology of the Times of the Persian Monarchy". He wrote, among other publications, "A True Chronology of the Times of the Persian Monarchy". He was one of 54 scholars selected by the King to work on the King James Bible."



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