Roy, William (fl.1527) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 49
Roy, William (fl.1527)

by William Arthur Shaw
1904 Errata appended.

ROY, WILLIAM (fl. 1527), friar and assistant to William Tindal in the translation of the New Testament, was possibly son of William Roy, native of Brabant, to whom letters patent of denization were issued in London on 3 Feb. 1512 (Patent Rolls, 3 Henry VIII, p. 3, m. ii.) He studied at Cambridge, and subsequently became a friar observant in the Franciscan cloister at Greenwich. In 1528 Humphrey Monmouth was prosecuted for ‘assisting Tindal and Roy to go to Almayn to study Luther's sect’ (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, ed. Brewer, iii. 1760; Strype, Eccles. Mem. i. 588). This doubtless refers to Tindal's departure from London in May 1524. Roy left a year later, and met Tyndale at Cologne in July or August 1525, and there acted as his amanuensis in the translation of the New Testament, which they completed at Worms in January or February 1526. In the spring of that year Roy left Tindal to go to Strasburg, where he stayed a year, and translated his ‘Lyttle Treatous’ out of Latin into English. In the summer of 1527 the monk Jerome Barlow came to Strasburg, and there Roy and he wrote ‘Rede me and be not wroth,’ a stinging satire against Wolsey (see below). ‘Petygnele, Roy, and Jerome Barlow, friars of our religion, made the last book that was made against the king and my lord cardinal. … There is a whole pipe of them at Frankfort’ (Letters and Papers, iii. 2037). Some time before April 1529 Roy had returned to England on a visit to his mother at Westminster (ib. p. 2405). Sir Thomas More, in his ‘Confutacyon of Tyndalle's Answere,’ 1532, says on hearsay that Roy was burned in Portugal. Foxe (Acts and Monuments, iv. 696, 753) repeats the story, dating the burning in 1531, from an entry in Bishop Tunstal's ‘Prohibition.’ Tindal gives an unfavourable account of Roy's character in the address to the reader preceding the ‘parable of the wicked mammon.’

Roy's literary works, besides his part in Tyndale's New Testament of 1525, were: 1. ‘A lytle treatous or dialoge very necessary for all Christen men to learne and to knowe’ (reissued in 1550 as ‘The True Beliefe in Christe, or a brief dialogue betwene a Christen father and his stubborne sonne, whom he wolde fayne brynge to the right understandynge of a Christen man's livinge’), dedicated to the Estates of Calais, Strasburg, 1526, 1527–8; reprinted at Vienna, 1874; this work is probably the ‘Book against the Seven Sacraments,’ which is attributed to Roy in the proclamation of 1531 (Letters and Papers, u.s. p. 769). 2. ‘Rede me and be nott wrothe, for I say no thynge but trothe,’ 1526, Worms; 1528, Strasburg; 1546, London; reprinted in 1812 in ‘Harleian Miscellany,’ and separately in London, both in 1845 and by Professor Arber in 1871. It is a satire in verse directed against Cardinal Wolsey. There is a copy of the original edition in the British Museum Library. 3. ‘An exhortation to the diligent studye of scripture, made by Erasmus Roterodamus, and translated into English, to which is appended an exposition unto the seaventh chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians,’ Marburg, 20 July 1529. 4. ‘A proper dyalogue betwene a gentillman and a husbandman, eche complaynynge to other their miserable calamitie through the ambicion of the clergy,’ 1530, Marburg (2 editions); 1863, London; reprinted by Arber in 1871. Copies of these editions are in the British Museum Library (see Wright, Letters on Suppression of Monasteries, Camden Soc. p. 6). 5. ‘A compendious olde treatyse howe that we ought to have ye Scripture in Englysshe,’ Marburg, 1530 (2 editions); 1546 (?), London; in Foxe's ‘Acts and Monuments,’ 1563; Bristol, 1863; 1871, reprinted by Arber. Heber and Hazlitt also attribute to him some verses beginning ‘I, playne Piers,’ printed by Wynkyn de Worde, 4to, n.d. (Handbook, p. 473).

[Authorities as in text; Hazlitt's Handbook, pp. 473, 525, and Collections, i. 127, 366; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. i. lxxxviii, ii. 737; Arber's Introduction to Reprints, as above, with bibliography; Wilkins's Concilia, iii. 706–77, 717; Adolf Wolf's Introduction to his Vienna reprint of the ‘Little Treatous’ (Akademie der Wissenschaften, lxxvi. 391); Nasmyth's Cat. of Corpus Christi Coll. Cambr. MSS. p. 333; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.; Tyndale's Works (Parker Soc.), passim; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr., and authorities there mentioned; cf. art. Tindal, William.]

W. A. S.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.240
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
371 i 11-12 Roy, William: for ‘Rede me not’ read ‘Rede me and be not wroth’