Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gale, Thomas (1635?-1702)

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GALE, THOMAS (1635?–1702), dean of York, born at Scruton in the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1635 or 1636, was the only surviving child of Christopher Gale of Scruton, by his wife Frances Conyers of Holtby in the same county (Foster, Yorkshire Pedigrees vol. ii.) He was educated at Westminster School, under Busby, and being admitted king's scholar was elected in 1655 to Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. 1659, M.A. 1662). He contributed verses to the 'Luctus et Gratulatio,' published by the university of Cambridge in 1658, on the death of Oliver Cromwell; to the 'Threni Cantabrigienses' on the deaths of the Duke of Gloucester and the Princess of Orange in 1661, and to the 'Epicedia Cantabrigiensis' in 1671. He became a fellow of his college, and was incorporated M.A. at Oxford the day after the opening of the Sheldonian Theatre, 13 July 1669 (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 312). He was appointed senior taxor in 1670. His eminence as a scholar obtained for him in 1666 the regius professorship of Greek at Cambridge, an office which he resigned in 1672 to become high master of St Paul's School. On that occasion James Duport [q. v.] addressed to him a copy of verses which are printed at page 16 of the 'Musæ Subsecivæ,' 1676. He accumulated the degrees in divinity in 1675, and on 7 June 1676 was made prebendary of St Paul's. On 6 Dec 1677 he was elected into the Royal Society (Thomson Hist. Roy. Soc. App. iv. p. xxvii), of which he became a very active member. He frequently sat on the council, and presented many curiosities to the museum. In 1679 he wrote at the request of the society the inscription for the Bibliotheca Norfolciana. In January 1685-6 Gale and Sir John Hoskyns were chosen honorary secretaries, and appointed for their clerk Edmund Halley [q. v.], one of Gale's pupils at St. Paul's (Weld, Hist. Roy. Soc. i. 266, 305). Gale's only contribution to the 'Philosophical Transactions' was some notes on Ralph Thoresby's 'Letter' to Martin Lister of 10 July 1697, concerning two Roman altars found at Collerton and Blenkinsop Castle in Northumberland (xix. 663). Gale continued at the head of St. Paul's School with increasing reputation until 1697, when he was preferred to the deanery of York, being admitted on 16 Sept. of that year. On leaving London he presented to his college a curious collection of Arabic manuscripts. At York Gale was noted for his hospitality, and for his admirable government, as well as for his care in restoring and embellishing the cathedral. He was further a benefactor to the deanery by obtaining in 1699 letters patent settling the dean's right to be a canon residentiary (Drake, Eboracum, pp. 480, 527, 565, 572). He died at York on 7 or 8 April 1702, in the sixty-seventh year of his age, and was buried on the 15th in the middle of the cathedral choir. He married Barbara, daughter of Thomas Pepys of Impington, Cambridgeshire, who was buried in St. Faith's Church, London, 5 June 1689. By her he left issue four sons : Roger (d. 1744) [q. v.] ; Charles (d. 1738), rector of Scruton; Samuel (1682-1754) [q. v.] ; and Thomas, and one daughter, Elizabeth (1687), who in 1739 became the second wife of William Stukeley, M.D. [q. v.] He had many eminent correspondents. Mabillon gave him the manuscript of Alcuin's 'De Pontificibus Eboracensibus,' published in his 'Historiæ Britannicæ Scriptores XV,' 1691, and Huet declared that Gale exceeded all men he ever knew both for modesty and versatility of learning (Commentarius de Rebus ad eum pertinentibus, 1718, bk. v. p. 315). To his eldest son Roger he left a noble library of books and manuscripts ; the latter are catalogued in 'Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum Angliæ et Hiberniæ,' fol. Oxford, 1697 (iii. 185). By Roger Gale the manuscripts were bequeathed to Trinity College, Cambridge, as was also a fine portrait of his father. There is another portrait of Gale (by Kneller) at Scruton. A drawing of him in the Pepysian collection at Magdalene College, Cambridge, was engraved by S. Harding. Gale edited: 1. 'Opuscula mythologica, ethica et physica,' Greek and Latin (anon.), 10 pts. 8vo, Cambridge, 1671-70 (another edition 8vo, Amsterdam, 1688). 2. 'Historiæ poeticæ Scriptores antiqui. Accessêre breves notæ,' &c. (anon.) 8vo, Paris, 1675. His annotations on 'Antonini Liberalis Transformationum Congeries' were incorporated by G. A. Koch in his edition, 8vo, 1832. 3. 'Rhetores selecti. Demetrius Phalereus, Tiberius Rhetor, Anonymus Sophista, Severus Alexandrinus. Græce et Latine. (Demetrium emendavit, reliquos e MSS. edidit et Latine vertit T. Gale),' 8vo, Oxford, 1676 (another edition, by J. F. Fischer, 8vo, Leipzig, 1773). 4. 'Ιαμβλιχου Χαλκιδεως περι Μυστηριων Λογος' (with Latin version and notes), fol. Oxford, 1678. 5. 'Ψαλτηριον. Psalterium. Juxta exemplar Alexaudrinum editio nova, Græce et Latine' (anon.), 8vo, Oxford, 1678. 6. ' Herodoti . . . hisforiarum libri ix. Excerpta e Ctesiæ libris de rebus Persicis et Indicis,' &c. (anon.), Greek and Latin, fol. London, 1679 (another edition, fol. London, 1763). His 'Chronologia' was included in G. C. Becelli's Italian version of 'Herodotus,' 2 pts. 4to, Verona, 1733. 7. 'Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores Quinque ex vetustis Codicibus MSS. nunc primum in lucem editi. Vol. ii.' (anon.), fol. Oxford, 1687, including Walterus de Hemingford's 'Chronica' from 1066 to 1273. The first volume of this collection had appeared in 1684 under the anonymous editorship of William Fulman [q. v.] 8. 'Historiæ Britannicæ, Saxonicæ, Anglo-Danicæ Scriptores XV. ex vetustis Codd. MSS. editi opera Thomæ Gale,' &c. fol. Oxford, 1691. 9. 'Antonini Iter Britanniarum commentariis illustratum Thomæ Gale . . . Opus posthumum revisit, auxit, edidit R[ogerus] G[ale]. Accessit anonymi Ravennatis Britanniæ chorographia,' &c. 4to, London, 1709. Roger Gale also published his father's 'Sermons preached upon several Holy-days observed in the Church of England,' 8vo, London, 1704. Gale translated anonymously Huet's 'Traité de la Situation du Paradis Terrestre,' 12mo, London, 1694. He communicated various readings from two manuscripts to the edition of 'Diogenes Laertius,' published at Amsterdam in two volumes, 4to, 1692 ; critical notes to Paulus Bauldri's edition of 'Lactantii de Mortibus Persecutorum,'8vo, Utrecht, 1692; and notes to William Worth's edition of 'Tatiani Oratio ad Græcos,' 8vo, Oxford, 1700. J. C. Orelli included Gale's annotations in his edition of 'Sallust the Philosopher,' 8vo, 1821 ; and F. Oehler used his notes upon 'Maximus the Confessor' (Anecdota Græca, tom. i. 8vo, 1857). His manuscript notes on 'Herodotus' and 'Dion Cassius' are in the library of the university of Cambridge (Catalogue, vi. 73). He left too in manuscript editions of 'Origenis Philocalia' and of 'Iamblichus de Vita Pythagoræ.' From Ballard's Collection of MS. Letters in the Bodleian Library (xv. 32) it appears that Gale had an intention of continuing Archbishop Parker's 'Antiquitates Britannicæ.' Gale, by the king's command, composed the obnoxious inscription for the monument of London, for which he received a testimonial from the city in the shape of a present of plate.

[Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iv. 536-55; Welch's Alumni Westmon. (1852) pp. 143, 144; Biographia Britannica; Chalmers's Biog. Dict. xv. 221-5; Cole MSS. vol. xlv. ff. 242, 268, 462; Knight's Life of Colet, p. 282; Willis's Survey of Cathedrals, i. 70-2; Newcourt's Repertorium, i. 144; Evelyn's Diary; Noble's Continuation of Granger's Biog. Hist. i. 94-5; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, i. 132; Nicholson's Historical Libraries (1776), pts. i. and ii.; Stukeley's Diaries and Letters (Surtees Soc.); Hearne's Preface to Walterus de Hemingford, p. xxiii; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), iii. 639.]

G. G.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.131
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
379 i 13 f.e. Gale, Thomas (1635?-1702): for bequeathed read given in 1738
5 f.e. for 1671-70 read 1671
380 i 15 for Nicholson's read Nicolson's