Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hall, Thomas (1610-1665)

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HALL, THOMAS (1610–1665), ejected minister, son of Richard Hall, clothier, by his wife Elizabeth (Bonner), was born in St. Andrew's parish, Worcester, about 22 July 1610. He was educated at the King's School, Worcester, under Henry Bright (d. 1626), one of the most celebrated schoolmasters of the day. In 1624 he entered Balliol College, Oxford, as an exhibitioner. Finding himself under 'a careless tutor,' he removed to the newly founded Pembroke College as a pupil of Thomas Lushington [q. v.]. He graduated B.A. on 7 Feb. 1629. Returning to Worcestershire he became teacher of a private school, and preached in the chapels of several hamlets in the parish of King's Norton, of which his brother, John Hall, vicar of Bromsgrove, was perpetual curate. At this period he conformed, but attendance at the puritan lecture, maintained at Birmingham, contributed to make him a presbyterian. He became curate at King's Norton under his brother, who soon resigned the living in his favour. The living was of little value, but Hall obtained the mastership of the grammar school, founded by Edward VI.

During the civil war he was 'many times plundered, and five times imprison'd' (Calamy). He refused 'far greater preferment' when his party was in power. In June 1652 he 'had liberty allow'd him by the delegates of the university' to take the degree of B.D. on the terms of preaching a Latin and an English sermon. His presbyterian principles prevented him from joining Baxter's Worcestershire agreement in 1653; and he became a member of the presbytery of Kenilworth, Warwickshire [see Grew, Obadiah]. He, however, signed Baxter's Worcestershire petition for the retention of tithe and a settled ministry.

Hall was a 'plain but fervent ' preacher, and 'a lover of books and learning. When a library was established in connection with the Birmingham grammar school he contributed many books, and collected others from his friends. Subsequently he founded a similar library at King's Norton; the parish at his instance erected a building, and Hall transferred to it all his books for public use. After his ejection by the Uniformity Act (1662) he was reduced to great poverty, but his friends did not allow him to want. He died on 13 April 1665, and was buried at King's Norton. John Hall (1633–1710) [q. v.], bishop of Bristol, was his nephew.

Hall wrote:

  1. 'Wisdoms Conquest. &c.' 1651, 8vo (translation of the contest of Ajax and Ulysses, Ovid, 'Metamorph.' xiii.)
  2. 'The Pulpit Guarded with xvii. Arguments’, &c., 4to (against unlicensed preachers); with appendix, also found separately, 'Six Arguments to prove our Ministers free from Antichristianisme,' &c., 1651, 4to.
  3. 'The Font Guarded with xx. Arguments,' &c, 1651 (i.e. 1652), 4to (against indiscriminate baptism); has appendix, 'The Collier and his Colours,' &c., 1662, 4to (against Thomas Collier, a general baptist preacher, of unitarian sentiments); and second appendix, 'Praeecursor Praecursoris: or a Word to Mr. Tombs,' &c., 1652, 4to (against John Tombes (1603-1666) [q. v.], baptist preacher.
  4. 'The Beauty of Holiness,' 1653, 8to (Wood gives 1656; perhaps a second edition).
  5. 'Comarum Ἀκοσμία. The Loathsomnesse of Long Haire. … Appendix … against & Painting,' &c., 1654, 8vo.
  6. 'Centuria Sacra … Rules for … understanding of the Holy Scriptures,' 8vo., 1654, 8vo.
  7. 'Rhetorica Sacra … Tropes and Figures contained in the Sacred Scriptures,' &c., 1654, 8vo.
  8. 'Histrio-mastix. A Whip for Webster,' &c., 1654, 8vo, against an ' examen of academies' appended to John Webster's 'Saint's Guide,' 1654, 4to).
  9. 'Vindiciae Literarium; the Schools Guarded,' &c., 1654 (i.e. 1655), 8vo; makes all learning a handmaid to divinity.
  10. 'Phaetons Folly,' &c., 1655, 8vo (translations of Ovid, 'Metam.' ii. and 'Trist.' eleg. i.)
  11. 'A Scriptural Discourse of the Apostacy of Antichrist,' &c., 1655, 4to.
  12. 'Chiliastomastix Redivivus, sive Homesus Enervatus. A Confutation of the Millenarian Opinion .., with a Word to our Fifth-monarchy Men,' &c., 1657, 4to (Wood); 1658, 12mo (against 'The Resurrection Revealed,' 1654, 4to, by Nathaniel Holmes, D.D. [q. v.]).
  13. 'A Practical and Polemical Commentary [on 2 Tim. iii. iv.],' &c, 1658, fol.
  14. 'Tὸ ὅλος τῆς γῆς: sive Apologia pro Ministerio Evangelico,' &c., Frankfort, 1658, 8vo; in English, 'Apology for the Ministry,' &c., 1660, 4to (Smith).
  15. 'Samaria's Downfall,' &c., 1659, 4to; comment on Hosea xiii. 12-16, supplementary to the 'Exposition ' of Jeremiah Burroughes [q. v.]; 1660, 4to; 1843, 4to; appended is an attack on Solomon Eccles [q. v.], the quaker.
  16. 'The Beauty of Magistracy,' &c., 1660, 4to (written in conjunction with George Swinnocke).
  17. 'Funebria Florae. The Downfall of May-games,’ &c., 1660, 4to; 1661, 4to, two editions.
  18. 'An Exposition: [Amos, iv-ix.],' &c., 1661, 4to.

[Abel Redivivus, 1674. appended to Moore's Pearl in an Oyster-shel, 1675 (the list of works given by Moore is inaccurate); Wood's Athenae Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 677; Fasti, i. 218, 438, ii. 171; Calamy's Account, 1715, p. 765; Calamy's Continuation, 1727, ii. 654; Smith's Biblioteca Anti-Quakeriana, 1673, p. 211.]

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