The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Ellwood, Thomas

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ELLWOOD, Thomas, English Quaker: b. Crowell, near Thame, Oxfordshire, 1639; d. Amersham, 1 March 1714. About 1660 he was induced to join the Society of Friends, and subsequently became reader to Milton, with whom he improved himself in the learned languages, but was soon obliged to quit London on account of his health. In the year 1665 he procured a lodging for Milton at Chalfont, Bucks, and was the occasion of his writing ‘Paradise Regained’ by the following observation made on rereading the ‘Paradise Lost’ which the poet had lent him to read in manuscript: “Thou hast said much of paradise lost, but what hast thou to say of paradise found?” In 1705 he published the first part of ‘Sacred History, or the Historical Parts of the Old Testament’; and in 1709 ‘Sacred History, etc., of the New Testament.’ His other works are numerous; among them ‘Davideis, the Life of David, King of Israel,’ a poem, which is more distinguished for piety than poetry. His life, written by himself, and published the year after his death, affords many interesting particulars of the history of his sect.