Hadrian à Saravia

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Hadrian à Saravia, sometimes called Hadrian Saravia, Adrien Saravia, or Adrianus Saravia (1532 – 15 January 1612) was an English prebend and theologian and a member of the First Westminster Company, charged by James I of England to produce the King James Version of the Bible.

Early years

Saravia was born in Hesdin (Artois), then part of Flanders, to Protestant Spanish and Flemish parents, Christopher de Saravia and Elisabeth Boulengier.[1] He entered the ministry at Antwerp, reviewed a draft of the Belgic Confession and gathered a Walloon congregation in Brussels. Saravia continued to move between London and Europe.[1] In 1561, he married Catherine d'Allez of St Omer.[1]

Channel Islands

He went from there to England and was sent as an evangelist to Jersey and Guernsey. When Elizabeth I of England founded Elizabeth College in 1563 he was appointed as its first schoolmaster.

In 1568 he became rector of the parish of St Pierre du Bois, Guernsey, which was then under Presbyterian discipline.


From 1571 to 1578, he held the position of headmaster at the Grammar School in Southampton. His students included Robert Ashley, Nicholas Fuller, Francis Markham, Edward Reynolds and Josuah Sylvester.[2][1]

Ghent & Leiden

By late 1580 he was living in Ghent and was an inspector of the theological school and active in religious affairs.[1] With Ghent under threat by the Spanish, he moved to Leiden in November 1582.[1] He was appointed a professor of theology at Leiden University on 13 August 1584.[1]

From Leiden he wrote (9 June 1585) to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley advising the assumption of the protectorate of the Low Countries by Elizabeth. He left the United Provinces when his complicity in a political plot was discovered.

Return to England

He published several treatises defending the Episcopacy against Presbyterianism. He was appointed, in 1588, rector of Tatenhill, Staffordshire. His first work, De diversis gradibus ministrorum Evangelii (1590; in English, 1592, and reprinted), was an argument for episcopacy, which led to a controversy with Theodore Beza and gained him incorporation as D.D. at Oxford (9 June 1590), and a prebend at Gloucester (22 October 1591).

On 6 December 1595 he was admitted to a canonry at Canterbury (which he resigned in 1602), and in the same year to the vicarage of Lewisham, Kent, where he became an intimate friend of Richard Hooker, his near neighbor, whom he absolved on his deathbed. He was made prebendary of Worcester in 1601 and of Westminster (5 July 1601). In 1604, or early in 1605, he presented to James I of England his Latin treatise on the Eucharist, which remained in the Royal Library unprinted, until in 1885 it was published (with translation and introduction) by Archdeacon G. A. Denison.

In 1607 he was nominated one of the translators of the King James Version of the Bible of 1611, his part being Genesis to the end of Kings II. He is said to have been the only translator who was not English.[3]

On 23 March 1610 he exchanged Lewisham for the rectory of Great Chart, Kent.

He died at Canterbury on 15 January 1612, and was buried in the cathedral. His second wife, Margaret Wiits, erected a memorial to him at the Cathedral.[4]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Saravia, Adrian (1532–1613)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24664.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. Willem Nijenhuis (1 January 1980). Adrianus Saravia (ca. 1532-1613): Dutch Calvinist, First Reformend Defender of the English Episcopal Church Order on the Basis of the Ius Divinum. BRILL. p. 36. ISBN 90-04-06194-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. http://www.bible-researcher.com/kjvhist.html
  4. Quarterly Review of the Guernsey Society, Vol XIV No 1, Spring 1958
  • McClure, Alexander. (1858) The Translators Revived: A Biographical Memoir of the Authors of the English Version of the Holy Bible. Mobile, Alabama: R. E. Publications (republished by the Marantha Bible Society, 1984 ASIN B0006YJPI8 )
  • Nicolson, Adam. (2003) God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible. New York: HarperCollins ISBN 0-06-095975-4
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. Missing or empty |title= (help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>