Dusty Quotations

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Who is Thomas Fuller?

Thomas Fuller (baptised 19 June 1608 – 16 August 1661) was an English churchman and historian. He is now remembered for his writings, particularly his Worthies of England, published in 1662, after his death. He was a prolific author, and one of the first English writers able to live by his pen (and his many patrons).

Fuller is still oft quoted though his works are no longer remembered as well as they once were. Nonetheless, those works include:

  • 1631, David’s Heinous Sinne, Heartie Repentance, Heavie Punishment, Fuller published a poem on the subject of David and Bathsheba.
  • 1639, The Historie of the Holy Warre, Broadwindsor, compiled history of the crusades.
  • 1640, Joseph’s party-coloured Coat, his first published volume of sermonsEngraved title page of the third edition of Historie of the Holy Warre by Thomas Fuller, 1647.
  • 1642, The Holy State and the Prophane State. This work describes the holy state as existing in the family and in public life, gives rules of conduct, model “characters” for the various professions and profane biographies. It was perhaps the most popular of all his writings.
  • 1650, A Pisgah-Sight of Palestine and the confines thereof; with the history of the Old and New Testaments acted thereon. With facsimiles of all the quaint maps and illustrations of the original edition. 750 pp., London, William Tegg 1869 – Lionel Cranfield, 3rd Earl of Middlesex, who lived at Copt Hall, near Waltham, gave him what remained of the books of the lord treasurer his father; and through the good offices of the marchioness of Hertford, part of his own pillaged library was restored to him. Fuller was thus able to prosecute his literary labours, producing successively his descriptive geography of the Holy Land.
  • 1651, Abel Redevivus or the dead yet speaking; the lives and the deaths of the moderne divines. Written by several able and learned men and now digested into one volume, for the benefit to be faction of all those that desire to be acquainted with the paths of pitty and virtue. London, John Stafford.
  • 1655, Church-History of Britain, from the birth of Jesus Christ until the year 1648. Church-History was printed with The History of the University of Cambridge since the Conquest and The History of Waltham Abbey. These works were furthered by his connection with Sion College, London, where he had a room. The Church History was angrily attacked from the high-church side by Peter Heylin. At the Oxford Act of 1657, Robert South, who was Terrae filius, lampooned Fuller, whom he described in this Oratio as living in London, ever scribbling and each year bringing forth new folia like a tree. At length, continues South, the Church-History came forth with its 166 dedications to wealthy and noble friends; and with this huge volume under one arm, and his wife (said to be little of stature) on the other, he ran up and down the streets of London, seeking at the houses of his patrons invitations to dinner, to be repaid by his dull jests at table. His last and best patron was George Berkeley, 1st Earl Berkeley (1628–1698), of Cranford House, Middlesex, whose chaplain he was, and who gave him Cranford rectory (1658). Fuller afterwards dedicated The Appeal of Injured Innocence (1659), his reply to Heylyn’s Examen Historicum, to Berkeley. In An Alarum to the Counties of England and Wales (1660) Fuller argued for a free and full parliament—free from force, as he expressed it, as well as from abjurations or previous engagements. Mixt Contemplations in Better Times (1660), dedicated to Lady Monk, tendered advice in the spirit of its motto, “Let your moderation be known to all men: the Lord is at hand”.
  • 1657, ‘Notes upon Jonah’, John Stafford.
  • 1662, History of the Worthies of England, Fuller’s best-known work.
  • 1868, The Poems and translations in verse, including fifty-nine hitherto unpublished epigrams of Fuller and his much-wished form of prayer for the first time collected and edited with introduction and notes, by rev. Grosart, 257 pp., Liverpool, printed for private circulation 1868.

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