The trail starts from the Monument, London and highlights historic sites around the city. The sites blend with colourful characters of history to trace 100 years of events that led to the King James Version of the Bible being published 400 years ago in 1611.
The character of the nation was shaped in the 16th and 17th centuries by people such as Henry VIII, Elizabeth 1st and James 1st. The reign of the Tudors ended and the Stuarts took over. It was the start of the first information age when technology took off with London becoming a centre of printing. The machine of this media revolution gave its name to the modern day ‘press’.
Sites and People
All eight sites on the trail have their story to tell. In 16th century England Bibles were written in Latin which neither the people, nor a good proportion of the clergy, could understand. On the quays above London Bridge Bibles in English, translated by William Tyndale, were smuggled into the city.
Whitehall Palace, the largest palace in Europe, was where the monarch lived. It was here that Anne Boleyn and Jayne Seymour were married to Henry VIII and where the first known performance of William Shakespeare's play The Tempest was performed. It was also here in January 1604 that James 1st walked down the Privy Stairs, boarded his barge and set sail up the River Thames for Hampton Court for the historic conference that launched the King James Version.
The final draft of the new translation was agreed in Stationers Hall. It was the Stationers of the 16th century who gave their members ownership of a text and the sole right to copy a document, and so the word copyright was coined.
The final stop on the trail is the Museum of London to watch a video of the great fire in 1666, which also shows what the city looked like and how the people of London lived in that age.
Legacy of the King James Version
Since its publication in 1611 the King James Version has had an enormous literary impact. It has influenced the development of the English language. Overseas it promoted English. People in many parts of the world have learned English by using it. It is the best selling book in the world.
Following the Trail
The trail starts at 11.0 am on selected dates from the Monument, London. It takes about 2-1/2 hours to complete the trail, but total walking time is about 1 hour. The longer distances between sites will be covered by underground and bus. For those without a Freedom Pass, an Oyster or Travel Card is required.
Speak With A Christadelphian
If you would like to speak with a Christadelphian in KJVTrail, please contact Don Morley below: