STERNHOLD, Thomas. b. date unknown; d. 23 August 1549. Little is known of Sternhold’s early life. He may have originated in Gloucestershire, and been educated at Christ Church, Oxford. He entered the service of Henry VIII and by ca. 1540 he was ‘groom of the robes’ to the king. In 1543 he was imprisoned for his Protestant beliefs, but he later became Member of Parliament for Plymouth (1545-47) and he flourished at the Reformation, benefiting from the dissolution of the monasteries and the accession of the Protestant Edward VI.
He is said to have composed metrical psalms for his own ‘Godly solace’ (JJ, p. 857), using the English ‘ballad metre’ or rhyming ‘fourteener’ (the lines divided made...
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