Anne Cooke Bacon was highly educated and was known for her ability to read Latin, Greek, Italian and French.
She married Sir Nicholas Bacon, Queen's Keeper of the Great Seal and a member of Elizabeth's Privy Council.
The directions of the new Church of England were heavily influenced by her husband and Anne too was actively involved in the religious controversies of her day, her translations position her as a strong advocate for the Protestant cause. Whilst in her early 20s she translated the sermons of Bernardino Ochino, a popular Italian preacher who converted to Calvinism.
Her translations were printed in four different volumes of Ochino's sermons (between 1548 and 1570) although the publishers of these editions did not always see fit to name her as the translator.
Translations by R. Argentyne were often included in the volumes and, in the earlier editions, he was credited with her work. The text reproduced here comes from the 1551 edition of Fouretene sermons of Barnardine Ochyne ... translated by AC as it not only includes Anne's dedication to her mother and a preface in praise of Anne's work but is the only edition of more than five sermons that does not also reprint translations by Argentyne.
As an appendix to the present volume the five sermons translated by AC in the 1551 edition of Certayne sermons of the ryghte famous and excellent clerke ... are included. These five plus the fourteen reprinted in the body of this book constitute all of the sermons that Anne Cooke is known to have translated and published. In 1562 John Jewel's Apologia ecclesiae anglicanae was published in England and was viewed as the authoritative defence of the English Church.
Anne Cooke Bacon's translation of it was published in 1564 and became the official English version.
The text reprinted here is unusually clear and also has the advantage of including an engraving of Lady Bacon.