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St John’s College, Cambridge


William Bercher (ca. 1520 – ca.1576), also known as William Barker, was an English member of parliament and translator from Greek, Latin, and Italian.

Bercher was born into a family of commoners in Norfolk around 1520. He attended St John’s College, Cambridge, as one of Queen Anne Boleyn’s scholars, and graduated with an M.A. in 1540.

Beginning in 1547, Bercher spent six years in Italy, where he collected Latin epitaphs which he would eventually publish in English translation. During his stay, he also translated Xenophon’s Cyropaedia as well as a number of Italian works, including Lodovico Domenichi’s La Nobiltà delle Donne.

Bercher is last mentioned in 1576, and is presumed to have died soon after.



Bartlett, Kenneth R.. “Barker, William (fl. 1540–1576).” In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online ed., edited by Lawrence Goldman. Oxford: OUP, 2004. (accessed April 22, 2016).

Bartlett, Kenneth R. “William Barker (circa 1520-after 1576).” Sixteenth-Century British Nondramatic Writers: First Series. Ed. David A. Richardson. Vol. 132. Detroit: Gale, 1993. 48-52. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 132. Dictionary of Literary Biography Main Series. Web. 31 Aug. 2016. URL

Bond, R. Warwick. Introduction to The Nobylytie off Wymen, by William Bercher. London: Roxburghe Club, 1904.Parks, G. B. (1957). William barker, tudor translator. The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 51, 126. URL