examination of the second, third, and fourth volumes respectively. To these attacks Neal never replied, although it was asserted that he intended doing so, but was prevented by ill-health. They were to some extent met by Dr. Joshua Toulmin in his elaborate edition of Neal's ‘History’ in five volumes in 1797.
In 1735, alarmed at the marked advance of Roman catholic doctrines, he arranged, in concert with certain other dissenting ministers, to deliver a series of discourses against the errors and practices of the Roman church, the subject allotted to him being ‘The Supremacy of St. Peter and the Bishops of Rome, his successors.’ In his treatment of this topic Neal discussed the lawfulness of the papal claims, and pointed out the abuses with which they had been attended, concluding with the assertion that ‘an open toleration of the popish religion is inconsistent with the safety of a free people and a protestant government’ (Cochrane, Protestant's Manual, vol. i.).
Neal's close application to his studies, combined with too sedentary habits, eventually undermined his health and brought on paralysis. He died in his sixty-fifth year, 4 April 1743, and was buried in Bunhill Fields. He married Elizabeth, only daughter of Richard, and sister of his friend, Dr. Nathaniel Lardner, by whom he had one son, Nathanael, who was an eminent attorney and secretary to the Million Bank, and two daughters. One of these married Joseph Jennings, son of his friend, Dr. David Jennings; the other married William Lester of Ware, for some time Neal's assistant. Neal's widow died in 1748.
Many of Neal's letters are preserved in the collection of Doddridge's correspondence, published in 1790 by the Rev. Thomas Stedman, vicar of St. Chad's, Shrewsbury [see Doddridge, Philip]. His ‘History of the Puritans’ was translated into Dutch by Ross, and published at Rotterdam in 1752. Zachary Grey's copy of the work, interleaved and containing numerous notes by himself and some by Thomas Baker, is in the library of St. John's College, Cambridge. Grey animadverts with considerable severity on Neal's frequent practice of advancing statements reflecting on the church party without adducing his authorities. In a note to ii. 287 he says, ‘I am really unwilling to credit a Person without an authority, who is so apt when he has authorities to mistake or falsify them.’
Neal's portrait, an engraving by Ravenet, after Wollaston, is given in the quarto edition of his ‘History of the Puritans’ (1754), vol. i. It represents him with a full and somewhat sensual face, and black piercing eyes.
[Life by Toulmin, compiled chiefly from Funeral Sermon by Dr. Jennings, and manuscript account by his son, Nathanael Neal, communicated by his grandson, Daniel Lister, esq., of Hackney; Wilson's Hist. of Dissenting Churches, iii. 90–102; Chalmers's Biog. Dict. xxiii. 41; information kindly supplied by Lady Jennings.]
NEAL or NEALE, THOMAS (1519–1590?), professor of Hebrew at Oxford, was born about 1519 at Yeate (Gloucestershire), and became in 1531 scholar of Winchester College ‘by the endeavours of his maternal uncle, Alexander Belsire, Fellow of New College, Oxford.’ On 19 June 1538 he was chosen probationer of New College, and in 1540 admitted perpetual fellow. He graduated B.A. 16 May 1542, M.A. 11 July 1546, and was admitted B.D. 23 July 1556. Before he took orders he had acquired a great reputation as a Greek and Hebrew scholar and theologian, and was allowed a pension of 10l. per annum by Sir Thomas Whyte, afterwards founder of St. John's. He travelled in France, probably during the time of the Edwardian reformation, and appears to have been there in 1556 (see below), but soon after the beginning of Mary's reign he had been made chaplain (not domestic chaplain) to Bonner, bishop of London, and appointed rector of Thenford in Northamptonshire. His name does not appear in the registers of that place. At the accession of Elizabeth he ‘betook himself’ to Oxford, and in 1559 was made Queen's professor of the Hebrew lecture. He entered himself as a commoner of Hart Hall, though he seems to be described of that hall in 1542, and built ‘little lodgings’ for himself at the west end of New College, and opposite to Hart Hall. He seems at first to have been disturbed in his professorship, as the dean and chapter of Christ Church at one time detained his salary (Strype, Annals, i. i. 48; see two letters of the privy council ordering payment, Council Book, 1 Eliz. 16 Jan. 1558–1559; Harl. MS. 169, f. 26; Lansdowne MS. 982, f. 162). He took a prominent part in the entertainment of Elizabeth at Oxford in 1566, and wrote an account of it, which was embodied in Wood's ‘History and Antiquities of Oxford’ (ed. Gutch, ii. 154), and which served as the source for Richard Stephens's ‘Brief Rehearsal.’ In 1569, being timid because of his catholicism, he resigned his professorship and retired to Cassington, four miles from Oxford, purchased a house there, and ‘spent the rest of his life in study and devotion.’ He died either in or shortly after