Humphrey Tyndall 1549-1614

From Book Owners Online

Humphrey TYNDALL 1549-1614

Biographical Note

Born in Norfolk, fourth son of Sir Thomas Tyndall of Hockwold. BA Christ’s College, Cambridge 1567, fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge 1567, MA 1570, BD 1577, DD 1582. President of Queens’ College, Cambridge 1579; Vice-Chancellor 1585-86. Vicar of Soham, Cambridgeshire 1577, prebendary of Lichfield 1586, of Southwell 1588, rector of Wentworth, Cambridgeshire 1591, Dean of Ely 1591. Recorded, theologically, as having been “impeccably orthodox”, and a moderate Calvinist, much involved in helping to rein in the more extreme interpretations of Calvinism which were debated in Cambridge in the 1590s.


Tyndall’s probate inventory lists 89 itemised titles, with “other small divinity books and pamphlets”, valued in all at £47 2s 4d (out of a total estate valued at £201). He had a study with two presses for books, and he also had a small number of maps. The books are almost entirely theological, including 16th-century reformation and controversial writings as well as Patristics. He bequeathed to Queens’ all his folio books, not already in the Library there; the residue of his estate was divided between his widow, and his sister (who received the residue of the household goods in the vicarage at Soham). 43 books were listed in the Queens’ Donors’ Book as having resulted from this gift, many of which remain in the Library today. Tyndall made other gifts to the College, including paying for panelling in his chamber.


  • Tyndall's Will, Cambridge University Llibrary Vice-Chancellor's Court, 1614.
  • Leedham-Green, E . S. Books in Cambridge inventories, 1986, no.191.
  • Porter, H. C. Reformation and reaction in Tudor Cambridge, 1958.
  • Twigg, J. A history of Queens’ College, Cambridge, 1987.