Bedell (William)

  • d. 1642
  • scholars, authors
  • Kilmore, Co. Cavan
English churchman, bishop of Kilmore, Co. Cavan (Church of Ireland); commissioned and assisted an Irish translation of the Old Testament (Leabhuir an tSean Tiomna), printed in 1684.
See also: Dublin, Trinity CollegeDublin, Trinity College
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Scott, Brendan, “Bishop William Bedell and the ‘humble petition’ of the Protestant clergy and laity in Cavan, 1633”, Studia Hibernica 45 (2019): 53–67.  
The purpose of this article is to discuss and make available two documents written in Cavan in 1633, which detail the complaints made by the Protestant laity and clergy against the imposition of taxation and their fears as to the relaxation of anti-recusancy laws. Whereas in 1629 a petition had been prepared by the people in Cavan in general, and signed both by Catholics and Protestants, the petition discussed and transcribed here (Appendix I) was explicitly one from the Protestant planter community in Cavan. The second document (Appendix II) is a letter by the Church of Ireland bishop, William Bedell. It describes in detail the circumstances which led to the writing of the 1633 petition. Together, both documents afford us a rare insight into the motivations and interests of the Protestant planter community in south Ulster at this time of stress.
Caball, Marc, “The Bible in early modern Gaelic Ireland: tradition, collaboration and alienation”, in: Killeen, Kevin, Helen Smith, and Rachel Willie (eds), The Oxford handbook of the Bible in early modern England, c. 1530–1700, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. 332–349.  
The episodic production of an Irish translation of the Bible from the 1560s to its completion in 1685 is emblematic of the complexity of the political, religious, and cultural history of early modern Ireland. As late as the printing of the Irish Book of Common Prayer in 1608, Gaelic Irishmen were central to the project of evangelization through print. Yet the deployment of print was essentially an expression of state authority which privileged the use of English. This chapter explores the Reformation in Ireland, and the first printings of the New and Old Testaments in Gaelic. It traces Robert Boyle’s sponsorship of the republication of the New Testament in 1681 and Old Testament in 1685, and his support for the distribution of the Gaelic Bible in Scotland. Emphasizing the vigour of Gaelic literary culture, the chapter points to the need for further research into the reception of the Irish Bible.
Caball, Marc, “‘Solid divine and worthy scholar’: William Bedell, Venice and Gaelic culture”, in: Kelly, James, and Ciarán Mac Murchaidh (eds), Irish and English: essays on the Irish linguistic and cultural frontier, 1600–1900, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2012. 43–57.
McCaughey, Terence, Dr. Bedell and Mr. King: the making of the Irish Bible, Dublin: DIAS, 2000.
Bottigheimer, Karl S., “The hagiography of William Bedell”, in: Barnard, Toby, Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, and Katharine Simms (eds.), ‘A miracle of learning’: studies in manuscripts and Irish learning. Essays in honour of William O’Sullivan, Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998. 201–208.
Bedell, William, Leabhuir an tSean Tiomna: ar na dtarruing on teanguidh ughdarach go Gaidhlig tré chúram agus sáothar, an doctúr Uilliam Bhedel, Dublin: British and Foreign Bible Society, 1827.
Internet Archive: <link>
Bedell, William, and William O'Domhnuill, Biobla naomhtha: ann a bhfuilid an tSean Tiomnadh...Uilliam Bhedel / agus an Tiomna Nuadh...Uilliam O Domhnuill, London: British and Foreign Bible Society, 1817.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive – NT: <link>
Bedell, William [et al.], and Uillam Ó Domhnuill [et al.], An Biobla Naomhtha: iona bhfuil Leabhair na Seintiomna... / agus na Tiomna Nuaidhe..., ed. Robert Kirk, London: R. Ebheringtham, 1690.
EEBO – Transcription: <link>
Bedell, William, Leabhuir an tSean Tiomna: ar na dtarruing on teanguidh ughdarach go Gaidhlig tré chúram agus sáothar, an doctúr Uilliam Bhedel, 1685.