Nicholas Grimald was born in or around 1519 into a farming family, probably in Huntingdon, now part of Cambridgeshire.As the only boy in a family of several girls, he was encouraged by his mother to study hard. He attended Christ’s College, Cambridge at the age of fifteen and achieved his bachelor’s degree in 1539/1540. He then went on to study at Brasenose college, Oxford obtaining a BA and an MA there and becoming a Fellow of Merton in 1544, remaining at Oxford as a lecturer in theology for several years.
He became licensed as a preacher in 1551 and the following year was appointed chaplain to Nicholas Ridley, the Bishop of London in 1552. Ridley refused to give up his Protestant faith after the accession to the throne of the Catholic Queen Mary, for which he was burned at the stake in 1554. Grimald, as one of his followers, was imprisoned in 1555 but recanted his protestantism and was released but, it is said, secretly reverted to it later.
As a brilliant classical and religious scholar, he wrote the tragi-comedy Christus Redivivus (Resurrection of Christ) which was published in 1543, Archprophet, the life of John the Baptist in 1548 and Vox Populi, the Voice of the People in 1549. He also translated the works of Cicero and Vergil. He contributed forty poems to Tottel’s Miscellany under the heading Songes and Sonettes which included The Death of Zoroas and Marcus Tullus Ciceroes Death, both written in blank verse. His best known poems are A True Love, A Bequest of His Heart, and A Rondel of Love. He died in his early forties, cause unknown, in or before 1562.