Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Docking, Thomas of

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DOCKING, THOMAS of (fl. 1250), Franciscan, is stated in the Royal MS. 3 B. xii. in the British Museum to have been really named ‘Thomas Gude, i.e. Bonus,’ but called ‘Dochyng’ from the place of his birth (Casley, Catalogue of the Manuscripts of the King's Library, p. 43, London, 1734), evidently the village of Docking in the north of the county of Norfolk. The same manuscript describes him as doctor of divinity at Oxford. Of the character he bore while a student there we have testimony in a letter of Adam de Marisco, written between 1240 and 1249, in which the writer asks the Franciscan provincial, William of Nottingham, that the Bible of a deceased brother may be conferred on Thomas of Dokkyng, ‘quem et suavissimæ conversationis honestas, et claritas ingenii perspicacis, et litteraturæ provectioris eminentia, et facundia prompti sermonis illustrant insignius’ (ep. cc. in Brewer, Monumenta Franciscana, p. 359). Adam was the first Franciscan reader in divinity in the university, and Docking, in due course, became the seventh in order; Archbishop Peckham was the eleventh (ib. p. 552). The statement made by Oudin (Comm. de Scriptt. Eccles. iii. 526) that Docking became chancellor of Oxford seems to rest upon no evidence, and is perhaps due to a confusion with Thomas de Bukyngham, whose ‘Quæstiones lxxxviii,’ preserved in an Oxford manuscript (Coxe, Catal. Cod. MSS., New College, cxxxiv. p. 49), have been conjecturally ascribed to Docking by Sbaralea (suppl. to Wadding, Scriptores Ordinis Min. p. 675 a, 1806). But the manuscript itself describes the author as ‘nuper ecclesiæ Exoniensis cancellarium,’ and we know that Thomas of Buckingham was collated to that office in 1346 (Le Neve, Fasti Eccl. Angl. i. 418, ed. Hardy). From Thomas the confusion has extended to John Buckingham (or Bokingham), who was bishop of Lincoln from 1363 to 1397, and the latter's ‘Quæstiones in quattuor libros Sententiarum,’ published at Paris in 1505, have been accordingly transferred to our author's bibliography.

Docking's genuine works consist mainly of commentaries. Those on Deuteronomy, Isaiah (imperfect), and the Pauline epistles exist in manuscripts of the fifteenth century in the library of Balliol College, Oxford (Codd. xxviii–xxx), and the extent of the writer's popularity is shown by the fact that the first of these was transcribed in 1442 by a German, Tielman, the son of Reyner. Other manuscripts of some of these works are at Magdalen College, Oxford, in the British Museum, and in Lincoln Cathedral. One is apparently that on Deuteronomy, mentioned by Tanner under ‘Bokking’ (p. 110). Docking is also said to have expounded the book of Job (Gascoigne, Liber Veritatis, manuscript; ap. Wood, Hist. et Antiqq. i. 73, Latin ed.), St. Luke, and the Apocalypse, his work upon this last being possibly (according to an old marginal note) the commentary contained in the Balliol MS. cxlix. A commentary on the ten commandments according to Deuteronomy, bearing Docking's name, is contained in the Bodleian MS. 453, f. 57, and thus a presumption arises that the treatise preceding it in the manuscript, ‘De sufficiencia articulorum in simbolo contentorum,’ going on to another exposition of the decalogue (also found in Laud. MS. Misc. 524, f. 26), is also by Docking; but no name is given, and the character of the work argues a later date. Further, a ‘Tabula super Grammaticam’ by Docking is mentioned by Tanner as being in the cathedral library at Lincoln. Other works assigned to Docking, but no longer known to exist, are: 1. ‘Lecturæ Bibliorum Liber i.’ 2. ‘Quæstiones ordinariæ.’ 3. ‘Correctiones in S. Scripturam.’ 4. ‘In Posteriora Aristotelis Libri ii.’

[Leland's Collect. ii. 343, Comm. de Scriptt. Brit. cccxi. pp. 314 et seq.; Bale's Scriptt. Brit. Catal. iv. 29, p. 324 f; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. 229 f.]

R. L. P.