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Fuller, Thomas (1607/8-1661) -- ODNB Life -- One of SP's favorite authors

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  • Michael Robinson
    Fuller, Thomas (1607/8-1661), Church of England clergyman, was baptized on 19 June 1608 at St Peter, Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, the eldest of two sons and
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 16, 2008
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      Fuller, Thomas (1607/8-1661), Church of England clergyman, was
      baptized on 19 June 1608 at St Peter, Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, the
      eldest of two sons and five daughters of Thomas Fuller BD (d. 1632),
      who had been appointed rector there in 1602 by Thomas Cecil, second
      Baron Burghley, and of his wife, Judith (d. in or before 1620),
      daughter of John Davenant, a London merchant, and widow of Stephen
      Payne. ...

      The most important of Fuller's writings during the interregnum was his
      The Church History of Britain (1655), the first comprehensive English
      protestant account of Christianity in the island from the earliest
      times. In method and outlook Fuller owed much to the English
      antiquarian movement. He also set out to answer the interpretation of
      events given by English Roman Catholic historians, who, in the late
      sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, had worked out a more
      detailed account of the English Reformation than had adherents of the
      established church. Fuller's book also provided an explanation for the
      tumultuous religious and political events of his own time, and it
      included the first detailed account of the decades immediately prior
      to the civil wars to be published. The Church History suggested that
      the ecclesiastical policies of Archbishop William Laud and his party,
      supported by Charles I, provoked much of the discontent that led to
      the conflicts of the civil war period. At the same time, in his
      account of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, before the accession
      of Charles I, Fuller offered historical examples useful in a
      reconstruction of the church whenever the opportunity arose. The
      Church History had appended to it a substantial history of the
      University of Cambridge and a short history of Waltham Abbey. The
      volume has an extraordinary number of dedications. Each of its eleven
      books and each of the appended works is dedicated to a member of a
      noble family. There are also dedications of sections of the book to
      merchants and lawyers in London and gentry in the counties around
      London. These patrons evidently helped to support his research and the
      publication of the work. They comprise an extensive network of persons
      apparently supportive not only of Fuller's work but of the monarchy
      and the established church of the pre-war period. ...

      Fuller's History of the Worthies of England was edited by his son John
      and published in 1662. Printing had been under way for some time
      before Fuller's death and there seems no doubt that the contents of
      the book are entirely of his own composition. The Worthies described
      each county's distinctive features, including commodities and
      proverbial expressions, and provided short biographies of its
      noteworthy inhabitants in a succession going back to the Saxons. It
      was the first English biographical dictionary. In addition to
      providing valuable information, Fuller's lives are marked by pungent,
      telling details that effectively bring his subjects to life. Leslie
      Stephen in the Dictionary of National Biography described Fuller as
      one who was able to 'accommodate himself rather too easily to men of
      all parties', and who 'steered rather too skilful a course, perhaps,
      through a revolutionary time'. On the contrary, his actions and
      writings show that he was a person of firm political and religious
      convictions who took considerable risks to support the institutions he
      most cherished: a balanced constitution of monarch and parliament and
      a tolerant established church under episcopal leadership. His major
      historical writings were erudite, original in scope, and written with
      verve in a style distinctively his own.

      Continued in full:
      http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/lotw/2008-08-16
    • Terry Foreman
      Thanks, Michael. This fleshes out what was provided on the Pepysdiary.com site. [It would be nice if the ODNB were to post links to the site! :-) .......]
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 16, 2008
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        Thanks, Michael. This fleshes out what was provided on the Pepysdiary.com
        site.

        [It would be nice if the ODNB were to post links to the site! :-) .......]

        Terry

        At 07:10 PM 8/16/2008 +0000, you wrote:
        >Fuller, Thomas (1607/8-1661), Church of England clergyman, was
        >baptized on 19 June 1608 at St Peter, Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, the
        >eldest of two sons and five daughters of Thomas Fuller BD (d. 1632),
        >who had been appointed rector there in 1602 by Thomas Cecil, second
        >Baron Burghley, and of his wife, Judith (d. in or before 1620),
        >daughter of John Davenant, a London merchant, and widow of Stephen
        >Payne. ...
        >
        >The most important of Fuller's writings during the interregnum was his
        >The Church History of Britain (1655), the first comprehensive English
        >protestant account of Christianity in the island from the earliest
        >times. In method and outlook Fuller owed much to the English
        >antiquarian movement. He also set out to answer the interpretation of
        >events given by English Roman Catholic historians, who, in the late
        >sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, had worked out a more
        >detailed account of the English Reformation than had adherents of the
        >established church. Fuller's book also provided an explanation for the
        >tumultuous religious and political events of his own time, and it
        >included the first detailed account of the decades immediately prior
        >to the civil wars to be published. The Church History suggested that
        >the ecclesiastical policies of Archbishop William Laud and his party,
        >supported by Charles I, provoked much of the discontent that led to
        >the conflicts of the civil war period. At the same time, in his
        >account of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, before the accession
        >of Charles I, Fuller offered historical examples useful in a
        >reconstruction of the church whenever the opportunity arose. The
        >Church History had appended to it a substantial history of the
        >University of Cambridge and a short history of Waltham Abbey. The
        >volume has an extraordinary number of dedications. Each of its eleven
        >books and each of the appended works is dedicated to a member of a
        >noble family. There are also dedications of sections of the book to
        >merchants and lawyers in London and gentry in the counties around
        >London. These patrons evidently helped to support his research and the
        >publication of the work. They comprise an extensive network of persons
        >apparently supportive not only of Fuller's work but of the monarchy
        >and the established church of the pre-war period. ...
        >
        >Fuller's History of the Worthies of England was edited by his son John
        >and published in 1662. Printing had been under way for some time
        >before Fuller's death and there seems no doubt that the contents of
        >the book are entirely of his own composition. The Worthies described
        >each county's distinctive features, including commodities and
        >proverbial expressions, and provided short biographies of its
        >noteworthy inhabitants in a succession going back to the Saxons. It
        >was the first English biographical dictionary. In addition to
        >providing valuable information, Fuller's lives are marked by pungent,
        >telling details that effectively bring his subjects to life. Leslie
        >Stephen in the Dictionary of National Biography described Fuller as
        >one who was able to 'accommodate himself rather too easily to men of
        >all parties', and who 'steered rather too skilful a course, perhaps,
        >through a revolutionary time'. On the contrary, his actions and
        >writings show that he was a person of firm political and religious
        >convictions who took considerable risks to support the institutions he
        >most cherished: a balanced constitution of monarch and parliament and
        >a tolerant established church under episcopal leadership. His major
        >historical writings were erudite, original in scope, and written with
        >verve in a style distinctively his own.
        >
        >Continued in full:
        >http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/lotw/2008-08-16
        >
        >
        >------------------------------------
        >
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