First Tyndale Bibles landed here (1526)

Tyndale went into hiding to work on his translation of the New Testament. The Continent was not that safe; Luther had really stirred things up and while some German princes supported his view, some did not, the same can be said of the people. By 1525 the New Testament was ready for publication so he went to a printer in Cologne, but unknown to him an enemy of the Reformation was using the same printer and he found out what Tyndale was doing and informed the authorities. Fortunately, Tyndale found out what had happened and escaped to Worms with his papers and the printing was finished in 1526. The New Testaments were immediately sent secretly to England; they were taken by friends and Hanseatic Merchants who hid them in bales of cloth, barrels of wine etc. Some of the Bibles were landed and hidden at Steelyard in London by London Bridge.

The authorities in England did everything they could to find the books and burn them. Cardinal Wolsey (head of the Church and State) condemned Tyndale as a heretic and sought to arrest him. The brave people who carried his book around the nation did so at a huge risk and several of them were burned at the stake when they were caught. The authorities clearly had some success in destroying the books as there are only two copies left in existence today and one of those is incomplete.