Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 56.djvu/203

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

tithes than at Ubley for souls’ (p. 10). Thomas retorted in a work entitled ‘Rayling Rebuked,’ with a second part, ‘A Defence of the Ministers of this Nation’ (London, 1656). Thomas's controversial tone is more moderate than that of his antagonist. Speed, however, prepared another work, ‘The Guilty-covered Clergyman Unveiled’ (London, 1657), to which Thomas replied in ‘Vindication of Scripture and Ministry’ (London, 1657). The controversy then dropped. Both of Thomas's books were noticed by George Fox in his ‘Great Mistery of the Great Whore Unfolded’ (1659, pp. 104–10, 237–42).

In 1662, on the passing of the act of uniformity, Thomas declined to conform, and was ejected from his living. He continued to reside at Ubley, and attended the established worship. He took the oath imposed by the Oxford Five Mile Act in 1666. He died on 15 Nov. 1667, and was buried in the chancel of the church at Ubley. His son Samuel [q. v.] erected a monument to his memory there.

Thomas was a good scholar and a successful preacher. He kept copious manuscript volumes of ‘Anniversaria,’ in which he entered comments on memorable events, besides volumes on special subjects, his ‘Ægrotorum Visitationes’ and ‘Meditationes Vespertinæ.’ Bishop Bull, who resided in his house as pupil for two years (1652–4), states that he ‘received little or no improvement or assistance from him in his study of theology,’ but adopted views opposed to those of Thomas, through the influence of his son Samuel, with whom he contracted an intimate acquaintance.

In addition to the controversial tracts against Speed, and some ‘Exhortations,’ Thomas published: 1. ‘The Protestant's Practice,’ London, 1656. 2. ‘Christian and Conjugal Counsall,’ London, 1661. 3. ‘A Preservation of Piety,’ London, 1661, 1662. 4. ‘The Country's Sense of London's Sufferings in the Late Fire,’ London, 1667. 5. ‘Scriptures opened and Sundry Cases of Conscience Resolved’ (on Proverbs, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel), London, 1675, 1683. The subject of this article must be distinguished from three other silenced ministers of both his names: William Thomas, a schoolmaster, who died in 1693; William Thomas, an itinerant baptist preacher about Caermarthen, who died on 26 July 1671 and was buried at Llantrissent in Monmouthshire; and William Thomas, M.A., of Jesus College, Oxford, who was ejected from the rectory of St. Mary's Church, Glamorganshire, and afterwards kept a school at Swansea.

[Foster's Alumni; Reg. Univ. Oxon. (Oxford Hist. Soc.) II. ii. 307, iii. 317; Wood's Athenæ, ed. Bliss, iii. cols. 798–9; Calamy's Cont. p. 745; Palmer's Nonconformist's Memorial, iii. 171, 212–15, 500, 503; Nelson's Life of Bull, pp. 22–4; Sylvester's Reliquiæ Baxterianæ, iii. 13.]

B. P.

THOMAS, WILLIAM (1613–1689), bishop of St. David's and Worcester successively, was born at Bristol on 2 Feb. 1613, being the son of John Thomas (a linendraper of that town, but a native of Carmarthen) by his wife Elizabeth Blount, a niece of Thomas Blount, a wealthy Bristol lawyer, and a descendant of the Blounts of Eldersfield in Worcestershire. According to a pedigree which Thomas took out of the Herald's College in 1688 (cf. Harleian MS. No. 2300), with the view of establishing his claim to the Herbert arms, his father's family was descended from Henry Fitzherbert, chamberlain to Henry I, through Thomas ap William of Carmarthen, whose great-grandson, William Thomas, having probably entered Gray's Inn on 2 June 1600 (Foster, Gray's Inn Register, p. 99), became recorder of Carmarthen in 1603, was elected M.P. for the borough in 1614, although the sheriff made no return (Williams, Parl. Hist. of Wales, p. 52), and was described by the Earl of Northampton, when lord president of Wales, as ‘the wisest and most prudent person he ever knew member of a corporation.’ He was the bishop's grandfather, and it was with him that the bishop was brought up after his father's somewhat early death at Bristol. After attending the grammar school, Carmarthen, then kept by Morgan Owen [q. v.], he proceeded to Oxford, where he matriculated from St. John's College on 13 Nov. 1629, but graduated B.A. 12 May 1632 and M.A. 5 Feb. 1634–5 from Jesus College, of which he was also fellow and tutor. He was ordained deacon on 4 June 1637 and priest in 1638 by Bancroft, the bishop of Oxford. He was appointed shortly afterwards vicar of Penbryn, Cardiganshire, and chaplain to the Earl of Northumberland (cf. Braybrooke manuscripts in Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. p. 279a), who presented him to the living of Laugharne with Llansadwrnen in Carmarthenshire, from which he was ejected in 1644. During the Commonwealth he maintained his increasing family by keeping a private school at Laugharne, but in 1660 he was restored to his livings, and was also appointed precentor of St. David's (Le Neve, Fasti, i. 316; cf. Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1660–1, p. 173), and on 2 Aug. created D.D. of Oxford by chancellor's letters. He subsequently held the