A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Bale, John

Bale, John (1495-1563).—Historian and controversialist, b. at Cove, Suffolk, and ed. as a Carmelite friar, but becoming a Protestant, engaged in violent controversy with the Roman Catholics. After undergoing persecution and flying to Flanders, he was brought back by Edward VI. and made Bishop of Ossory. On the death of Edward he was again persecuted, and had to escape from Ireland to Holland, but returned on the accession of Elizabeth, who made him a Prebendary of Canterbury. His chief work is a Latin Account of the Lives of Eminent Writers of Great Britain. Besides this he wrote some dramas on scriptural subjects, and an account of the trial and death of Sir John Oldcastle. He wrote in all 22 plays, of which only 5 have come down, the names of certain of which give some idea of their nature, e.g., The Three Leaves of Nature, Moses and Christ, and The Temptacyon of Our Lord.