Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Slade, Matthew

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SLADE, MATTHEW (1569–1628?), divine, born at South Perrot, Dorset, in 1569, was second son of John Slade (d. 1574), rector of South Perrot, who married in 1567 Joan, daughter of John Owsley of Misterton, Somerset. The elder son, Samuel (1568–1612?), graduated B.A. at Oxford 1586, M.A. 1594, became vicar of Embleton, Northumberland, but resigned the living to travel in Europe and the east in search of manuscripts, and died in Zante before 1613 (Brodrick, Mem. of Merton Coll., Oxford Hist. Soc., p. 274).

Matthew matriculated at St. Alban Hall on 29 Oct. 1585, and graduated B.A. on 13 Jan. 1589 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714, iii. 1363). He taught a school in Devonshire, and married, on 20 Sept. 1593, Alethea (d. 1614), daughter of Richard Kirford, near Honiton. But about 1597 he went to Amsterdam, and became one of the first elders of the Brownist congregation there (Dexter, Congregationalism, p. 278). He seems to have given offence to the separatists [see under Smyth, John, (d. 1610)] by attending the Dutch church (Johnson, Discourse of some Troubles, Amsterdam, 1603, 4to, passim). About 1614 he was appointed rector of the academy or gymnasium there. He threw himself into the Arminian and Socinian controversy, and when, upon the death of Arminius in 1611, Conrad Vorstius was appointed his successor as theological professor at Leyden, Slade wrote ‘Cum Conrado Vorstio de Blasphemiis Hæresibus & Atheismis a rege Jacobo I in ejusdem Vorstii de Deo Tractatu & Exegesi apologeticâ nigro theta notatis, Scholasticæ Disceptationis Pars Prima,’ Amsterdam, 1612, 4to (Bodleian Library); Pars Altera, Amsterdam, 1614 (Brit. Mus. and Bodl.). Vorstius was compelled by the States, at James I's instigation, to quit Leyden in 1612.

Slade was a good scholar; Wood calls him ‘a walking library.’ He was on intimate terms with Isaac Casaubon [q. v.], Gerard Vossius, Scaliger, and the savants of the time. He corresponded with Sibrand Lubbertus, the professor of Franeker University from 1611 to 20 Aug. 1620, and with Sir Dudley Carleton [q. v.], ambassador at the Hague. He wrote on 20 Jan. 1618 that he sent to Carleton a work on the Arminian controversy which he had completed in fourteen days and nights. He died about 1628.

His son Cornelius, born at Amsterdam on 14 Oct. 1599, was professor of Hebrew and other languages there, and became rector of the academy on 9 May 1628, perhaps following his father. He married Gertrude, daughter of Luke Ambrose, an English preacher there, and was father of

Matthew Slade (1628–1689), born 9 June 1628 in England, who became a doctor of physic. Under the anagram of Theodorus ‘Aldes,’ Matthew wrote ‘Dissertatio epistolica de Generatione Animalium contra Harveium’ (Amsterdam, 1666, 12mo; reprinted twice at Frankfurt in 1668, 4to), and was author of several learned medical treatises. Matthew died, while travelling in a stage-coach, on Shotover Hill, near Oxford, on 20 Dec. 1689, and was buried at St. Peter's-in-the-East, Oxford, on the 22nd.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 154; Wood's Life and Times (Oxford Hist. Soc.), iii. 318, 320; Van der Aa's Biogr. Woordenboek, xvii. 715; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. iii. 320; Hutchins's Hist. of Dorset, ii. 168; Arber's Hist. of the Pilgrim Fathers, 1897, pp. 3, 126, 129, 210; State Papers, Holland, at Public Record Office, bundles 123, 133 (four letters); Addit. MSS. 22961–2, where more than seventy letters in Latin from Slade to Sibrand Lubbertus are preserved; a copy of Johnson's Discourse is at Sion College Library, the only other known being that at Trinity College, Cambridge.]

C. F. S.