Francis Burley

The following information has been extracted from a number of sources including Alumni Cantabrigienses, the Clergy of the Church of England Database and Newcourt's Repertorium.

Francis Burley was born circa 1552. He entered St Catharine's College, Cambridge, in 1579, but migrated to Queens' College in 1581, and then to Pembroke Hall (now College) where he was a Greek Scholar.

Francis was awarded the degree of B.A. in in 1583 and that of M.A. in 1587. He was ordained Deacon on 15 April 1590 and Priest the following day, when he was also licensed as Curate of St Michael's, Bassishaw, in the City of London, and more generally throughout the Diocese of London. Two months' later, on 13 June 1590, he was installed as Vicar of St Michael's Bishop's Stortford.

Francis was additionally installed as Rector of Thorley on 15 July 1594, under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I as the See of London was vacant the time. In that year he was also awarded the degree of B.D.

Francis resigned from the benefice of St Michael's, Bishop's Stortford, and was succeeded as Vicar there by William Bendish on 8 December 1604. In the same year Francis also became Rector of St Benet’s, Paul’s Wharf, London, holding the benefice along with that of Thorley until his resignation from St Benet's in 1612.

In January 1604 James I convened the Hampton Court Conference for the hearing, and for the determining, things pretended to be amiss in the church, at which he commissioned a new English translation of the Bible. Francis was one of the translators appointed by the King to produce what came to be known as the Authorised Version of the Bible that was first published on 2 May 1611. Whilst working as one of the translators, Francis was awarded the degree of D.D. in 1607.

Francis was one of the founding fellows of Chelsea College, London, an institution created in 1609 to lend scholarly support to the Reformation that was ultimately dissolved in 1653 having served its purpose.

Francis continued to serve as Rector of Thorley until his death in 1619.

Philip Hargrave
August 2013


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