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Miles Smith (bishop)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Miles Smith
Miles Smith

Miles Smith (1554, Hereford – 1624, Gloucester) was by inclination and talent, a scholar, theologian, bibliophile, and by occupation a member of the clergy in the Church of England. After achieving the rank of DD, or doctor of divinity, he rose through the ranks to eventually become the Bishop of Gloucester. Although he was sometimes an indifferent administrator, his love of scholarship led him to be a key translator in the production of the King James Bible.


He attended Corpus Christi College, Oxford, but graduated from Brasenose, in the same university, where he "proved at length an incomparable theologist." In time, he became a residentiary canon of Hereford Cathedral and earned his Doctor of Divinity in 1594. In 1612 he was appointed Bishop of Gloucester, wherein he was buried after his death at the age of 70.

As a scholar, Smith was known for his mastery of Biblical languages. He was also known as a sincere Calvinist and a great accumulator of books. He left his collection of Hebrew and Arabic texts to Hereford Cathedral library.[1]

During the translation of the King James Version of the Bible, Smith served in the "First Oxford Company", responsible for the later books of the Old Testament, as well as on the "Editing Committee" which oversaw the final editingw. He, along with Thomas Bilson, Bishop of Winchester, performed the final examination of the text before sending it to the printer. Smith also composed the Preface which accompanies the "Authorised Version" of the King James Bible.


Left: monument to Elizabeth Smith (Mrs Williams); right: monument to Margery Smith (Mrs Clent), Gloucester cathedral

Separate elaborate monuments with effigies of his two daughters, Elizabeth and Margery, survive in Glouceser cathedral. Both died in child-birth.


  1. ^ The story of Hereford, Johnson and Shoesmith, 2016
  • 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
  • Tiller, Canon John, Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral. "In the Steps of William Tyndale: Miles Smith as Bible Translator". A paper given at Gloucester Cathedral, 6 October 1998; published in The Tyndale Society Journal, 1998, Vol 11: pp. 27–33. Archived at Retrieved 15 May 2018. [Note: source information not yet added to article.]

External links

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Giles Thomson
Bishop of Gloucester
Succeeded by
Godfrey Goodman

This page was last edited on 10 March 2021, at 23:45
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