Bainbrigg, Thomas (1636-1703) (DNB00)

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BAINBRIGG, BAMBRIDGE, or BEMBRIDGE, THOMAS, D.D. (1636–1703), protestant controversialist, son of Richard and Rose Bainbrigg, was born at Cambridge. He was educated at the university there, proceeded B.A. in 1654, M.A. in 1661, was incorporated M.A. of Oxford in 1669, became proctor at Cambridge in 1678, there graduated D.D. by royal mandate in 1684, and held for many years the posts of fellow and vice-master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He was sometime vicar of Chesterton and subsequently rector of Orwell. He died suddenly at Cambridge, and was buried in Trinity College Chapel, where there is a monument to his memory. In 1687 he published 'An Answer to a Book entitled Reason and Authority, or the Motives of a late Protestant's Reconciliation to the Catholick Church, together with a brief account of Augustine the Monk, and conversion of the English. In a letter to a Friend.' The 'Letter' does not bear Bainbrigg's name, but is generally ascribed to him. It is a courageous and pungent onslaught upon the accredited author of 'Reason and Authority.' The pamphlet assailed — an attack upon Tilotson's discourse against transubstantiation—was attributed to Joshua Basset [see Basset, Joshua], for a time master of Sidney College. Bainbrigg thinks that 'it is a grief to have an adversary so weak and yet so confident.' 'He names Pope Gregory and Bede,' he adds, 'but gives not any ground to think that ever he has read over Bede's History or consulted Pope Gregory's Epistles.'

[Chetham Society, Popery Tracts, pt. i.; Cooper's Annals of Cambridge; Gee's Catalogue of Discourses against Popery; Bloomfield's Collect. Cantabr.; Wood's Fasti Oxon.; Grad. Cantabrig.; Dodd's Church History.]

P. B. A.