Greaves, Thomas (1612-1676) (DNB00)

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GREAVES, THOMAS, D.D. (1612–1676), orientalist, was son of the Rev. John Greaves of Colemore, Hampshire, and brother of Sir Edward Greaves [q. v.], and of John Greaves [q. v.] He was educated at Charterhouse School, and was admitted scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 1627, becoming fellow in 1636, and deputy-reader of Arabic 1637. He proceeded B.D. in 1641, and was appointed rector of Dunsby, near Sleaford, in Lincolnshire. He also held another living near London. He made a deposition on behalf of his brother, John Greaves, when the latter was ejected from his professorship at Merton. He proceeded D.D. in 1661, and was admitted to a prebend in the cathedral of Peterborough 23 Oct. 1666 (Le Neve, Fasti, ii.548), being then rector of Benefield in Northamptonshire. He was obliged to resign this rectory some years before his death on account of an impediment in his speech. The latter part of his life was spent at Weldon in Northamptonshire, where he had purchased an estate, and dying there in 1676, he was buried in the chancel of Weldon Church. The inscription on his gravestone called him 'Vir summæ pietatis et eruditionis; in philosophicis paucis secundus; in philologicis peritissimis par; in linguis Orientalibus plerisque major, quarum Persicam notis in appendice ad Biblia Polyglotta doctissime illustravit. Arabicam publice in Academia Oxon. professus est, dignissimus etiam qui et theologiam in eodem loco profiteretur; poeta insuper et orator insignis; atque in mathematicis profunde doctus.' His works are: 1. 'De linguæ Arabicæ utilitate et præstantia,' 1637 (see 'Letters to Thomas Greaves' by J. Selden and A. Wheelock, professor of Arabic at Cambridge, in Birch's Preface to the Miscellaneous Works of John Greaves, 1737, p. 67 sq.) 2. 'Observationes quædam in Persicam Pentateuchi versionem.' 3. 'Annotationes quædam in Persicam Interpretationem Evangeliorum,' both printed in vol. vi. of the 'Polyglot Bible,' 1647. He was probably also the author of 'A Sermon at Rotterdam,' 1763, and 'A brief Summary of Christian Religion.' Besides these works he contemplated a 'Treatise against Mahometanism,' as appears from a letter to his friend Baxter (published in Birch's Preface).

[Biog. Brit. 1757, iv. 2279; Wood's Fasti Oxon. ii. 2, 147; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 1061; Ward's Gresham Professors, 1740, pp. 145, 152; Macray's Annals of Bodleian.]

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