BALE, JOHN, Bishop of Ossory, in Ireland, was born at Cove, near Dunwich in Suffolk, in November 1495. He was educated in the monastery of the Carmelites at Norwich, and afterwards at Jesus College, Oxford. He belonged at first to the Roman Catholic Church, but was converted to the Protestant religion by Thomas Lord Wentworth. On the death of Lord Cromwell, the favourite of Henry VIII., who had protected him from the persecutions of the Romish clergy, he was obliged to take refuge in Flanders, where he continued eight years. Soon after the accession of Edward VI. he was recalled ; and being first presented to the living of Bishop's Stocke (Bishopstoke), in Hampshire, he was nominated in 1552 to the see of Ossory, in Ireland. During his residence there he was remarkably assiduous in propagating the Protestant doctrines, but with little success, and frequently at the hazard of his life. On the accession of Queen Mary the tide of opposition became so powerful that, to avoid assassination, he embarked for Holland ; and, after various vicissitudes, reached Basel in Switzerland, where he continued till the accession of Queen Elizabeth. After his return to England he was, in 1560, made prebendary of Canterbury, where he died in November 1563, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. Bale is noted as being one of the last (though not the last, as has sometimes been said) of those who wrote miracle-plays. Several of his are extant, and a list of titles of about twenty is given by Collier (ii. 238). They are remarkable for the determination they manifest to introduce and inculcate the doctrines of the Reformed religion. The best of his historical plays, Kynge Johan, has been published by the Camden Society, 1838. Of his numerous other works the most noted is his collection of British biography, entitled Illustrium ilfajoris Britannice Scriptorum Catalogue, a Japheto sanctissimi Noah filio ad An. Dom. 1559. This work was first published in quarto in 1548, and afterwards, with various additions, in folio, in 1557-59. Although slightly inaccurate, it is still a work of great value for the minute notices it gives of writers, concerning whom little is otherwise known. A selection from his works was published in 1849 by the Parker Society, containing the Examinations of Cobham, Thorpe, and Anne Askew, and the Image of the two Churches. Bale's style is frequently coarse and violent, and his truthfulness has been sometimes challenged.