Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tomkins, John

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TOMKINS, JOHN (1663?–1706), quaker annalist, born about 1663, commenced in 1701 the first attempt at quaker biography in ‘Piety Promoted, in a Collection of Dying Sayings of many of the People called Quakers. With a Brief Account of some of their Labours in the Gospel and Sufferings for the same;’ it was reprinted in 1703, 1723, 1759, and followed in 1702 by the second part, which also was reprinted in 1711 and 1765. In 1706 he issued a third volume, with a preface by Christopher Meidel [q. v.] The five parts were reissued, Dublin, 1721, 8vo, and were revised by John Kendall (1726–1815) [q. v.] in 1789. The work was continued by other hands until 1829. Tomkins died at Maryland Point, Stratford, Essex, on 12 Sept. 1706.

Tomkins also published: 1. ‘The Harmony of the Old and New Testament,’ London, 1694, 12mo; reprinted in 1697, with a ‘Brief Concordance of the Names,’ 3rd edit. 1701, 12mo. 2. ‘A Brief Testimony to the Great Duty of Prayer,’ London, 1695, 12mo; reprinted, with additions, 1700. 3. ‘A Trumpet Sounded: a Warning to the Unfaithful,’ 1703, 12mo.

[Whiting's Cat. 1708, p. 195; Smith's Cat. ii. 747; Registers, Devonshire House.]

C. F. S.