The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Ellwood, Thomas
ELLWOOD, Thomas, an English Quaker minister, a friend of Milton, born in Crowell, Oxfordshire, in 1639, died March 1, 1713. At an early age he attached himself to the society of Friends, thereby giving great offence to his father; but neither blows nor persuasions could induce him to renounce his new sentiments, to take off his hat before his parents, or to address them with other pronouns than "thou" and "thee." He was the author of numerous controversial works, the most considerable of which is his "Sacred History of the Old and New Testaments" (1705-'9). He wrote a poem entitled "Davideis" (1712), of which King David was the hero, and also left "Memoirs of his own Life" (1714). But he is chiefly known from the circumstance that he was one of those selected by the poet Milton to read to him after the loss of his sight. During the raging of the plague in London in 1665 he obtained a retreat for Milton at Chalfont, and there he is said first to have suggested the idea of the "Paradise Regained."