Thomson, Richard (d.1613) (DNB00)

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THOMSON, RICHARD (d. 1613), biblical scholar and divine, commonly called ‘Dutch Thomson,’ was born in Holland of English parents, and received his education at Clare Hall, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1587 and was elected fellow. He commenced M.A. in 1591, and was incorporated in that degree at Oxford on 1 July 1596 (Wood, Fasti Oxon., ed. Bliss, i. 273). Bishop Lancelot Andrewes [q. v.] presented him to the rectory of Snailwell, Cambridgeshire. He was selected as one of the translators of the Bible, being one of the company to which the task was allotted of translating the Old Testament from Genesis to the second book of Kings inclusive (Anderson, Annals of the English Bible, ed. 1862, p. 478). Thomas Farnaby informs us that Thomson lived for some time under the protection of Sir Robert Killigrew, and that he was a great interpreter of Martial. Hickman styles him ‘the grand propagator of Arminianism,’ and Prynne describes him as ‘a debosh'd drunken English Dutchman, who seldom went one night to bed sober;’ but on the other hand Richard Montagu [q. v.], who knew him well, says that he was ‘a most admirable philologer,’ and that ‘he was better known in Italy, France, and Germany than at home.’ He was buried at St. Edward's, Cambridge, on 8 Jan. 1612–13.

His works are: 1. ‘Elenchus Refutationis [by Martinus Becanus] Torturæ Torti [of Lancelot Andrewes, bishop of Chichester, afterwards of Ely]. Pro … Episcopo Eliense adversus Martinum Becanum Jesuitam, authore Richardo Thomsonio Cantabrigiensi,’ London, 1611, 8vo, dedicated to Sir Thomas Jermyn, knight. 2. ‘Diatriba de Amissione et Intercisione Gratiæ et Justificationis,’ Leyden, 1616 and 1618, 8vo. An ‘Animadversio brevis’ on this work was published in 1618 by Robert Abbot (1560–1617) [q. v.], bishop of Salisbury.

[Information from J. W. Clark, esq., M.A.; Addit. MS. 5882, f. 19; Camdeni Epistolæ, pp. 47, 54, 133, 135; Farnaby's edit. of Martial, pref. and epistle; Heylyn's Life of Laud, p. 122; Hickman's Hist. of Arminians, pp. 502, 519; Hickman's Hist. Quinq-Articularis Exarticulata, (1674), p. 91; McClure's Translators Revived, p. 99; Bishop Richard Montagu's pref. to Diatribe on the first part of the Hist. of Tithes (1621); Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. iv. 228, 380; Prynne's Anti-Arminianisme (1630) at the end, in Appendix; Scaligerana Secunda, ii. 325, 384, 595.]

T. C.