* Born in Florence 1518.
Florio, Michael Angelo Reformed minister, author, and translator. In 1550 arrived in London. At this time the English government welcomed continental reformers, hoping that they would contribute to the reform of the English church. Florio formed part of an influx of Italian protestants, who had been officially invited to come over.
Earlier in 1550 a foreign protestant congregation had been set up in London, headed by the Polish reformer John à Lasco. Under the protection of Archbishop Cranmer and Sir William Cecil, Florio was quickly accepted into the ministry of this church, preaching in Italian. He was provided with a royal annuity of £20, while the Italian community in London was to provide him with lodging and a yearly salary. Some prominent Italian merchants, however, refused to contribute. Florio complained bitterly to Cecil, and denounced several wealthy Italians as papists, but without effect. Instead, Florio himself was soon deposed from his ministry, sent out of Cecil's house, and threatened with banishment, as the result of an act of fornication. In addition to this, he entangled himself in a dispute about predestination, which caused suspicions among evangelical leaders about his position on doctrine.
Florio's ministry in London was a failure, but he seems never to have lost favour in court circles. He started a second, and more successful, career as a tutor of Italian. He taught Lady Jane Grey, and perhaps also Princess Elizabeth. His work resulted in two manuscripts about Italian grammar, the ‘Regole de la lingua thoscana’, and the ‘Institution: de la lingua thoscana’; one dedicated to the earl of Pembroke (CUL, MS Dd.xi.46), the other to Lady Jane Grey (BL, Sloane MS 3011). Florio was a close and compassionate eyewitness of Lady Jane's rise and fall in 1553, which he describes in his Historia de la vita e de la morte … Signora Giovanna Graia, written in 1561 and published in 1607, in Middelburgh, Zeeland, by the Dutch merchant and scholar Johan Radermacher the elder (Bostoen, 40, 53–5).
Mary Tudor having become queen, Florio, like all foreign protestants, was forced to leave England, departing in the spring of 1554 along with his ‘little family’. This probably indicates that his misstep had been regularized by marriage. The family would certainly have included his son John Florio, who was born in 1553. Michael Angelo Florio went to Strasbourg, where in the middle of 1555 he was invited to minister to the Reformed congregation in Soglio, a tiny village in Val Bregaglia in the Grisons canton of Switzerland. This region was the nearest safe haven for Italian protestants. Here he wrote his Apologia, published in 1557, which is the main source of data about his early life and career. In his new office Florio brought trouble upon himself again by defending Bernardino Ochino, who by this time was out of line with Genevan protestantism, and accused of anti-Trinitarianism. The Reformed synod of Chur in 1561 interrogated Florio and two colleagues on this subject, and they were forced to retract their opinions. In spite of his recantation Florio stayed in contact with anti-Trinitarian circles, a fact which only became evident after his death.
In 1563 Florio produced an Italian translation of George Agricola's work on metallurgy, De re metallica, and dedicated it to Queen Elizabeth. In the same year he managed to send his promising son John to the Italian reformer Pier Paolo Vergerio, who was working in Tübingen for the duke of Württemberg. He died ‘some years before 1571’ (Yates, 25), the last written reference to him dating from 1566.
Michael Angelo Florio was a minor, but fervent and outspoken theologian, who was closely in touch with Italian anti-Trinitarianism. His reputation rests principally on his activities as tutor of, and translator into, the Italian language. His son John inherited his father's interest and ability in this field, to become an outstanding linguist and author in that same England where his father's career had been so short and unhappy.
*He dies because of the plague, 1566.
* Carla Rossi (2017). La fede di battesimo di Michelangelo Florio, nato a Firenze, addì 28 settembre 1518 a ore 12. TCLA Academic Journal.