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Whittingham, William

Whittingham, William (c.1524–79). Translator of the Bible. Educated at Oxford, where he became a fellow of All Souls, Whittingham travelled on the continent from 1550, mixing in calvinist circles. He spent the reign of Mary in exile, succeeding John Knox in 1559 as minister at Geneva. Much of his time was devoted to a new translation of the Bible, the ‘breeches version’, published in Geneva in 1560. Until the issue of the Authorized Version in 1611, this was by far the most popular translation. Returning to England in 1560, he was appointed by Elizabeth to the deanery of Durham in 1563. Objection was made to his puritan tendencies, including dislike of the surplice, and he was said not to have been validly ordained. He died before these charges had been adjudicated.

J. A. Cannon

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