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Britain’s statues: How I learned about William Salesbury
Posted by simon peter sutherland in England issues, The influence of film, The Welsh Bible on June 10, 2020
One of the many things I appreciate about Britain, is her incredible amount of archival and documented history. She’s remarkable. Whenever I visit any town or city, something of history can be found on almost ever street. Whenever I see a statue or plaque, if it interests me, I take note.
Most of the time I find my way to the Parish Church and work my way from there. This is how I learned about William Salesbury.
About 2014 I visited St Asaph Cathedral. I had recently completed the production of my documentary Martyr George Marsh and while visiting the Translators Memorial, I was taken back by the history. There before me stood the 19th century memorial, and the proud image of the 16th century Welshman. Salesbury is depicted holding his New Testament in one hand and his letter from Parliament in the other. He is alive and well. Immaculately dressed, holding firmly on to what he, by the grace of God, achieved. I was immediately drawn to this striking artistic representation.
While visiting the Cathedral, I learned more about his New Testament translation and could see similarities between William Salesbury and William Tyndale. From then on, I knew there was a story and I needed to make a documentary about him.
I read books, numerous biographies and as many articles as I could. But I always returned to the statue on every visit.
This statue features throughout my present documentary and in this film, I wanted to bring the man behind the statue down to a viewable level, that his story could be brought to life, made known and understood.
May Britain never forget her own past. Good or bad, evil or righteous, may she never forget her own history. May it stand strong and clear, bold and powerful, lest she find herself, through ignorance and foolishness, condemned to repeat it.
History may not always be good, many may not like it, but when we know the truth, things generally get a little better.