Literary activity of Sir Henry Savile

Following on from this post and this one, inter alia, I received an interesting email this morning about other work by Henry Savile, in his days at Eton.

From John Warwick Montgomery, “Ecumenicity, Evangelicals, and Rome”, p. 52.

Sir Henry Savile “was responsible for translating sections of the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Book of Revelation for the King James Bible”.

“The Chrysostom was printed by William Norton, the royal printer, in a private press which Sir Henry erected at his own expense, and the type for it was specially imported by Sir Henry; the edition cost its editor eight thousand pounds.”

“At the present time this magnum opus can be most readily consulted as University Microfilms No. 20191 (STC entry 14629).” [written 1969]

There’s been a lot written since on the translation process and editorial revision of the KJV – one does wonder what became of the press (Etonae – still in some storeroom there?).

A press is a big and bulky thing, and might well still exist.  On the other hand the types could equally well have been melted down to throw off a wall during some siege during the Civil War.

5 Responses to “Literary activity of Sir Henry Savile”


  1. Ted Janiszewski

    I ran across an enjoyable assessment of Savile’s labors in Henry Hallam’s Introduction to the Literature of Europe (1839) pp. 10f. [link]

    But no edition of a Greek author published in the first part of the seventeenth century is superior, at least in magnificence, to that of Chrysostom by Sir Henry Savile. This came forth, in 1612, from a press established at Eton by himself, provost of that college. He had procured types and pressmen in Holland, and three years had been employed in printing the eight volumes of this great work; one, which both in splendour of execution, and in the erudition displayed in it by Savile, who had collected several manuscripts of Chrysostom, leaves immeasurably behind it every earlier production of the English press.

  2. Roger Pearse

    A nice description! I wonder how many people have EVER seen the physical volumes, tho, or ever will? I’ve only seen the PDF’s.

  3. David Ewald

    I have read that Sir Henry Neville contributed a sizable amount of funding for Sir Henry Savile’s Chrysostom, as well as having had a hand in the publishing. Do you know if his name appears on the document? Neville was a student at Merton College and then spent over four years travelling through Europe with his mentor Savile and former fellow student Robert Sidney in search of Greek texts from 1578-1582. Any information that you have in regards to Neville’s participation would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Roger Pearse

    Thank you for this interesting query. The only name that appears on the title page is Savile’s. I had not heard of Sir Henry Neville; can I ask what your source of information is?

  5. A note on Sir Henry Savile’s edition of Chrysostom at Roger Pearse

    [...] correspondent yesterday enquired whether the edition of Chrysostom prepared by Sir Henry Savile in the 17th century [...]