Wright, Thomas (d.1624?) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 63
Wright, Thomas (d.1624?)

by Thompson Cooper
Contains subarticle Thomas Wright (fl. 1604).

WRIGHT, THOMAS (d. 1624?), Roman catholic controversialist, was ordained priest in the reign of Queen Mary, and became one of the readers of divinity in the English College at Douay at the time of its foundation in 1569. It is said that he had previously taught theology and Hebrew at Milan, and had also been professor of divinity both in Spain and at Louvain. He graduated D.D., and was ‘always regarded as one of the ablest divines and controvertists of his time.’ In 1577 he was labouring upon the mission in Yorkshire, and was soon afterwards committed as a prisoner to York Castle, where he engaged in a conference with Dean Hutton and some other divines of the church of England. He was ‘tossed about from prison to prison till 1585, when he was shipped off at Hull, and sent into banishment.’ He took refuge at the English College of Douay, then temporarily removed to Rheims, was vice-president for some time, and was afterwards made dean of Courtray. In 1622 he was at Antwerp, where Marco Antonio de Dominis [q. v.], archbishop of Spalato, repeated before him the recantation of protestantism formerly made to the pope's nuncio at Brussels. Wright died about 1624.

Wright has been very doubtfully credited with several religious tracts, which are said to have been published anonymously, but he has been much confused by bibliographers with other writers of the time of his name, and no list of his works can be given with confidence. It is probable that he was author of ‘Certaine Articles discovering the Palpable Absurdities of the Protestants Religion’ [Antwerp, 1600], and ‘The Substance of the Lord's Supper’ (1610, 12mo). The first of these was answered by Edward Bulkeley in ‘An Apologie for the Religion established in the Church of England. Being an Answer to a Pamphlet by T. W[right]’ (1602).

To another Thomas Wright (fl. 1604), a protégé of Henry Wriothesley, third earl of Southampton [q. v.], who had travelled in Italy, must be ascribed ‘A Succinct Philosophicall Declaration of the Nature of Clymactericall Yeeres, occasioned by the Death of Queene Elizabeth. Written by T. W[right]. Printed for T. Thorpe,’ London, 1604, 4to, and ‘The Passions of the Minde in generall. By Thomas Wright,’ London, 1601, 4to, which reappeared in 1604 ‘corrected, enlarged, and with sundry new discourses augmented,’ and was reissued in 1621 and 1630. This work was dedicated to Southampton in the hope that he may be ‘delivered from inordinate passions,’ and had commendatory verses by B. I. [? Ben Jonson]. Another Thomas Wright, M.A., of Peterhouse, Cambridge, issued in 1685 ‘The Glory of Gods Revenge against the Bloody and Detestable Sins of Murther and Adultery’ (London, 8vo).

[Dodd's Church Hist. ii. 91, 384; Records of the English Catholics, i. 447.]

T. C.