Bale, John (1495-1563)

Bale, John (1495-1563), born at Cove, near Dunwicli, obtained the Suffolk living of Thorndon, though married and turned Protestant. In 1540 he had to flee to Germany. Recalled by Edward VI, he was made Bishop of Ossory in Leinster. Here, 'Bilious Bale' made himself so obnoxious to Catholics that they attacked his house and killed five servants. On Elizabeth's accession he was made a prebendary of Canterbury. His fame rests partly on a Latin history of English literature (1548; ed. by R. Lane Poole, Oxf. 1896); and he occupies also an important place in the history of the drama. His plays are sorry doggerel; yet his Kinge Johan is a link between such moralities as his own Brefe Comedy of Johan Baptyste and the masterpieces of the Elizabethan stage. The Parker Society published his select works (1849).
1. Chamber's Biographical Dictionary, Philadelphia, 1926, page 63.

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