The Authorized Version and the Book of Common Prayer at the Restoration
more fateful one
which took place at the Restoration, and which had a not dissimilar outcome. The Bible translation commissioned by King James VI and I was not
universally acclaimed in its early years; but it was one aspect of religiouslife
in England which remained largely unscathed by the upheavals of the Civil
War and the Interregnum. More than that, by 1661 it had achieved such
widespread acceptance across all religious factions that both Independents
and the heirs of Laudian Anglo-Catholicism demanded its official restoration. Having seen off its only real
Bethshemites was also bubonic plague. Thus, the Bible story was made
to allegorize the 1563 London plague, just as Spenser would create allegorical equivalents for moments of England’s national and religiouslife.
Grindal’s expectation, that his hearers would easily decode and apply the
individual details of the biblical story to England (“Did not we wretchedly leese the Ark?”), suggests that such services trained them well to
decode and apply the details of Spenser’s fiction.
When the plague returned to London in 1593, the prayers and composite psalm together