Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Flower of Godly Prayers (Selection)
  • Editor: James D. Mardock

  • Copyright James D. Mardock. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Thomas Becon
    Editor: James D. Mardock
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Flower of Godly Prayers (Selection)


    Thomas Becon (c. 1511-67) was an early Protestant reformer and homily writer. Arrested and forced to recant during Henry VIII's reign, upon the accession of Edward VI he became chaplain to the Lord Protector Edward Seymour and later to the household of his patron Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. His Flower of Godly Prayers, reprinted in 1561 and again in 1570, was an influential and widely used devotional text. The language of the confessional prayer to the Holy Spirit here excerpted is traditional, and draws heavily from that of the earliest English bibles, but it is of interest since it may be the source, rather than the Bible itself, for the Archbishop's language at TLN 65-69 about Henry's reformation. This modernization is based on the British Library copy, accessed through Early English Books Online.