Vergil, Polydore a priest of the Roman Church and an ecclesiastical historian, was born at Urbino, Italy, about 1470. He acquired a considerable literary reputation by. his Proverbiorum Libellus (1498) and De Rerum Inventoribus (1499).
In 1501 he was sent to England by pope Alexander VI, to collect the papal tribute called Peter's pence, and was the last to hold that office. He remained in England the greater part of his life; became rector of Church- Langton, in Leicestershire; archdeacon of Wells in 1507; and a prebendary of Hereford and Lincoln the same year; then prebendary in St. Paul's, London, in 1513. When he had been in England nearly fifty years, he returned to Italy, having received a present of three hundred crowns and leave to hold his archdeaconry of Wells and his prebend at Hereford during life. He died in Italy about 1555. He was the friend of Erasmus, and wrote several works of value. His principal work is a voluminous Latin History of England, Historiae Anglicae Libri XXX VI (Basle, 1533, fol.).. Two volumes of an old English edition of this work were edited by Sir Henry Ellis for the Camden Society (1844-46). The Agathynian Club published (N. Y. 1868) a translation of his De Rerum Inventoribus, by John Langley, with an Account of the Author and his Works, by Dr. W. A. Hammond.