Cox, Thomas (DNB00)

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COX, THOMAS (d. 1734), topographer and translator, a master of arts, became rector of Chignal-Smealy, near Chelmsford, on 19 June 1680, and continued there until 1704. He was next preferred to the vicarage of Broomfield, Essex, on 11 Feb. 1685, and to the rectory of Stock-Harvard in the same county on 24 Feb. 1703, which livings he held until his death. He was also lecturer of St. Michael's, Cornhill, but resigned the appointment in 1730 (Daily Journal, 5 June 1730). He died on 11 Jan. 1733–4 (Gent. Mag. iv. 50). Newcourt's statement that he is the same with the Thomas Cox who held the vicarage of Great Waltham, Essex, from 1653 to 1670, is unsupported. Besides an assize sermon, ‘The Influence of Religion in the Administration of Justice,’ 4to, London, 1726, Cox published anonymously translations of two of Ellies-Dupin's works, which he entitled ‘The Evangelical History, with additions,’ 8vo, London, 1694 (third edition, 8vo, London, 1703–7), and ‘A Compendious History of the Church,’ second edition, 4 vols. 12mo, London, 1716–15. He likewise translated Plutarch's ‘Morals by way of Abstract done from the Greek,’ 8vo, London, 1707, and Panciroli's ‘History of many Memorable Things Lost,’ 2 vols. 12mo, London, 1715 (with new title-page, 12mo, London, 1727). The lives of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI in Kennett's ‘Complete History of England’ are also from his pen. But his chief and best-known undertaking was ‘Magna Britannia et Hibernia, antiqua et nova. Or, a new Survey of Great Britain, wherein to the Topographical Account given by Mr. Cambden and the late editors of his Britannia is added a more large History, not only of the Cities, Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes mentioned by them, but also of many other Places of Note and Antiquities since discovered. … Collected and composed by an impartial Hand,’ 6 vols. 4to; in the Savoy, 1720–31. Gough (British Topography, i. 33, 34) says that this work was originally published in monthly numbers as a supplement to the five volumes of ‘Atlas Geographus,’ 1711–17. It contains only the English counties. The introduction or account of the ancient state of Britain was written by Dr. Anthony Hall, who also contributed the account of Berkshire. Prefixed to each county is a map by Robert Morden. Altogether, it is a compilation of much merit (Notes and Queries, 6th ser. vii. 69, 338). Cox married Love, fifth daughter of Thomas Manwood of Lincoln's Inn and Priors in Broomfield, Essex.

Cox's son, Thomas, besides succeeding him in the rectory of Stock, was rector of Chignal-Smealy (1714–1735), and rector of Ramsden-Bellhouse (27 Sept. 1733), and died on 26 July 1763 (Gent. Mag. xxxiii. 415). From a sermon he published in 1712 on ‘The Necessity of a Right Understanding in order to True Wisdom,’ we learn that he had been educated at the grammar school of Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, under Dr. Thomas Took.

[Morant's Essex, i. 204, ii. 52, 77, 78, 82; Wright's Essex, i. 188; Newcourt's Repertorium, ii. 96, 139, 633.]

G. G.