John Bale was born on 21 November 1495 at Cove in Suffolk. When he was twelve he entered the Carmelite House in Norwich and in 1514 went to Cambridge, where he received his B.D. in 1529. He became D.D. in the early 1530s. By that time, however, he had already set out on a career in the Carmelite Order: in 1530 he was Prior of the Monastery at Maldon; in 1532 he was Prior at Ipswich and in 1534 at Doncaster. Then, he left the Order and in 1536 he became parish priest of Thorndon in Suffolk.

Bale's conversion to Protestantism took place around 1534-35. In January 1537 he was charged with heresy and it was Thomas Cromwell who intervened and saved him on account of his plays (“ob editas comoedias”). In 1540, after the issue of the Six Articles Act (familiarly called “the Whip with Six

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Citation: Caputo, Nicoletta. "John Bale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001 [, accessed 19 June 2024.]

231 John Bale 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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