SALESBURY (or SALISBURY), WILLIAM (c. i^o-c. 1600), Welsh scholar, was a native of Denbighshire, being the son of Foulke Salesbury, who belonged to a family said to be descended from a certain Adam of Salzburg, a member of the ducal house of Bavaria, who came to England in the 12th century. Salesbury was educated at Oxford, where he accepted the Protestant faith, but he passed most of his life at Llanrwst, working at his literary undertakings. The greatest Welsh scholar of his time, Salesbury was acquainted with nine languages, including Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and was learned in philology and botany. He died about 1600. About 1546 he edited a collection of Welsh proverbs (Oil synwyr pen kembero), probably the first book printed in Welsh, and in 1547 his Dictionary in Englyshe and Welshe was published (facsimile edition, 1877). In 1563 the English parliament ordered the Welsh bishops to arrange for the translation of the Scriptures and the book of common prayer into Welsh. The New Testament was assigned to Salesbury, who had previously translated parts of it. He received valuable assistance from Richard Davies, bishop of St Davids, and also from Thomas Huet, or Hewett (d. 1591), but he himself did the greater part of the work. The translation was made from the Greek, but Latin versions were consulted, and in October 1567 the New Testament was published for the first time in Welsh. This translation never became very popular, but it served as the basis for the new one made by Bishop William Morgan (c. 1547- 1604). Salesbury and Davies continued to work together, translating various writings into Welsh, until about 1576 when the literary partnership was broken. After this event, Salesbury, although continuing his studies, produced nothing of importance.
Other noteworthy members of the family (the modern spelling is Salusbury) are: JOHN SALESBURY (c. 1500-1573), who held many preferments under the Tudor sovereigns and was bishop of Sodor and Ma.i from 1571 to 1573; THOMAS SALESBURY (c. 1555-1586), an associate of Anthony Babington, who was executed for conspiring against Queen Elizabeth; HENRY SALESBURY (1561-0. 1637), the author of a Welsh grammar published in 1593; THOMAS SALESBURY (d. 1643), a poet, who probably fought for Charles I. at Edgehill; and another royalist, WILLIAM SALESBURY (c. is8o-c. 1659), governor of Denbigh Castle, which, in 1646, he gallantly defended in the interests of the king.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)