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Re: [pepysdiary] Fuller, Thomas (1607/8-1661) -- ODNB Life -- One of SP's favorite authors

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Aug 16, 2008
      Thanks, Michael. This fleshes out what was provided on the Pepysdiary.com

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


      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:
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