Herne, Thomas (DNB00)

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HERNE, THOMAS (d. 1722), controversialist, a native of Suffolk, was admitted as a pensioner at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, on 29 Oct. 1711. In the following year he was elected to a scholarship on that foundation, graduated B.A. in 1715, and was incorporated at Oxford 21 Feb. 1715–16. Not long afterwards the Duchess of Bedford made him tutor to her sons Wriothesley and John, successively third and fourth dukes of Bedford. In 1716 Herne was elected to a vacant fellowship at Merton College, Oxford, and on 11 Oct. 1718 proceeded master of arts. He died a layman and unmarried, at Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, in 1722.

Herne took part in the Bangorian controversy, and published under the pseudonym ‘Phileleutherus Cantabrigiensis:’ ‘The False Notion of a Christian Priesthood,’ &c., in answer to William Law, 1717–18; ‘Three Discourses on Private Judgment against the Authority of the Magistrate over Conscience, and Considerations concerning uniting Protestants, translated from Professor Werenfels, with a preface to Dr. Tenison,’ London, 1718; ‘An Essay on Imposing and Subscribing Articles of Religion,’ 1719; and ‘A Letter to Dr. Mangey, on his Sermon upon Christ's Divinity,’ 1719. He also wrote: ‘A Letter to the Prolocutor, in Answer to one from him to Dr. Tenison,’ 1718; ‘A Letter to the Rev. Dr. Tenison concerning Citations out of Archbishop Wake's Preliminary Discourse to the Apostolic Fathers,’ London, 1718; ‘A Vindication of the Archbishop of Canterbury from being the author of “A Letter on the State of Religion in England,” printed at Zurich,’ London, 1719; and ‘A second Letter to Dr. Mangey,’ by ‘A Seeker after Truth,’ on his sermon on Christ's eternal existence, 1719, under the pseudonym of ‘Philanagnostes Criticus.’ Herne issued in 1719 an account of all the considerable pamphlets issued in the Bangorian controversy to the end of 1718; a continuation of this account to the end of 1719, London, 1720; and a reissue of the whole, London, 1720.

[R. Masters's Hist. of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, ed. 1753; Grad. Cant. 1823; Alumni Oxon.; Calendar Oxf. Grad.; Chalmers's Biog. Dict.; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

W. C. S.