The New International Encyclopædia/Fuller, Thomas

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

FULLER, Thomas (1608-61). An English author and divine. He was born at Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, of which parish his father was rector, and was educated at Queen's College, Cambridge, graduating A.B. in 1625 and M.A. in 1628. Two years later he was appointed to the curacy of Saint Benet's. The next year he was collated to a prebend in Salisbury Cathedral, and in 1634 he was appointed to the rectory of Broadwindsor, Dorsetshire. Abandoning both his living and his prebend in 1641, he settled in London, where he soon became curate of the Savoy, a church in the Strand. In the meantime he had published an account of the Crusades, entitled History of the Holy War (1639), and the Holy and Profane State (1642), the most characteristic of his works. During the Civil War he adhered firmly to the Royal cause, and shared in its reverses. He was a chaplain in the Royal army, when he wrote for the encouragement of his men a manual of prayers and meditations entitled Good Thoughts in Bad Times (1645), and a sequel, Better Thoughts in Worse Times (1647). About 1648 he was presented to the living of Waltham, in Essex. In 1650 he published a geographical account of the Holy Land, entitled A Pisgah Sight of Palestine and the Confines Thereof, with maps and views. In 1655 appeared The Church History of Britain, from the Birth of Christ Until the Year 1648. In 1658 he received the living of Cranford, Middlesex, and at the Restoration he was reinstated in his prebend of Salisbury, of which he had been deprived by the Parliamentarians. He was also appointed Chaplain Extraordinary to the King. He died in London. The next year (1662) appeared The Worthies of England, valuable for the information it contains on provincial history, and abounding in biographical anecdote, witty remark, and acute observation on men and manners. Quaint humor is one of Fuller's peculiar characteristics; but his writings are no less remarkable for wisdom, imagination, and, when occasion demands, even for pathos. Consult Bailey, Life of Thomas Fuller, with Notices of his Books, etc. (London, 1874).