Thomas Shaw (divine and traveller)

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Thomas Shaw (1694–1751) was an English cleric and traveller. [1] [2]



1743 edition of Thomas Shaw works. 1743 Thomas Shaw.jpg
1743 edition of Thomas Shaw works.

He was born about in Kendal, Westmorland. From the grammar school of his native town, he went to The Queen's College, Oxford, where he took his master's degree in 1719.

Grammar school type of school in the United Kingdom and some other countries

A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching Latin, but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school, differentiated in recent years from less academic secondary modern schools.

The Queens College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

The Queen's College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford, England. The college was founded in 1341 by Robert de Eglesfield (d'Eglesfield) in honour of Queen Philippa of Hainault. It is distinguished by its predominantly neoclassical architecture, which includes buildings designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor.

A master's degree is an academic degree awarded by universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice. A master's degree normally requires previous study at the bachelor's level, either as a separate degree or as part of an integrated course. Within the area studied, master's graduates are expected to possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics; high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation, or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.

On entering holy orders, he was appointed chaplain to the factory at Algiers. While in north Africa he traveled through Algiers, Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, and Arabia in the first half of the eighteenth century. He is best known for his account of his travels, first published in Oxford in 1738 and published in a French translation in The Hague by Jean Neaulme in 1743; another translation of J. MacCarthy is published by Marlin in Paris in 1830. The preface of this edition indicates that he would have lived twelve years in Algiers (1720-1732). He became a Fellow of his college in 1727, in his absence.

Algiers Capital City in Algiers Province, Algeria

Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria. In 2011, the city's population was estimated to be around 3,500,000. An estimate puts the population of the larger metropolitan city to be around 5,000,000. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria.

Tunisia Country in Northern Africa

Tunisia, officially the Tunisian Republic, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, covering 163,610 square kilometres. Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is the northernmost point on the African continent. It is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia's population was 11.435 million in 2017. Tunisia's name is derived from its capital city, Tunis, which is located on its northeast coast.

Syria Country in Western Asia

Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, Mandeans and Turkemens. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Isma'ilis, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, Yazidis, and Jews. Sunnis make up the largest religious group in Syria.

During his travels he made crude daily geodetic surveys from which he draws maps attached to his work. he also made use of the Roman geographer Antoninus and the 12th century Arab geographer Al Idrissi in his works.

Roman Empire Period of Imperial Rome following the Roman Republic (27 BC–476 AD)

The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome, consisting of large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean sea in Europe, North Africa and West Asia ruled by emperors. From the accession of Caesar Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, it was a principate with Italy as metropole of the provinces and its city of Rome as sole capital. The Roman Empire was then ruled by multiple emperors and divided into a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when it sent the imperial insignia to Constantinople following the capture of Ravenna by the barbarians of Odoacer and the subsequent deposition of Romulus Augustus. The fall of the Western Roman Empire to Germanic kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

12th century Century

The 12th century is the period from 1101 to 1200 in accordance with the Julian calendar. In the history of European culture, this period is considered part of the High Middle Ages and is sometimes called the Age of the Cistercians. In Song dynasty China an invasion by Jurchens caused a political schism of north and south. The Khmer Empire of Cambodia flourished during this century, while the Fatimids of Egypt were overtaken by the Ayyubid dynasty. Following the expansions of the Ghaznavids and Ghurid Empire, the Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent take place in the end of the century.

On his return, in 1733, Shaw took his doctor's degree, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1740, on the death of Henry Felton, he was nominated principal of St Edmund Hall, with which he held the Greek professorship, and the vicarage of Bramley in Hampshire, till his death in 1751.

Fellow of the Royal Society Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, including Honorary, Foreign and Royal Fellows

Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a 'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science'.

Bramley, Hampshire village and civil parish in Basingstoke and Deane, Hampshire, England

Bramley is a village and parish in Hampshire, England. In the 2001 census it had a population of 3,348. It has a village shop, bakery, estate agency, pub - The Bramley Inn and a railway station. Also, Bramley Camp houses an Army facility where military training and manoeuvres take place.

Hampshire County of England

Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England. The county town is the city of Winchester. Its two largest cities, Southampton and Portsmouth, are administered separately as unitary authorities; the rest of the county is governed by Hampshire County Council.

In the 19th century, his century-old work again gained favor during the French conquest of Algiers in 1830. In fact, apart from the spy mission in the vicinity of Algiers led by the engineer Vincent-Yves Boutin in 1808, it seems that the France very little information on Algeria more recent than that of Shaw.

Also, the geographical and "sociological" part of his 1830 edition named Historical, statistical and topographical facts on the State of Algiers, and was used of the expeditionary army of Africa. [3]


The first edition of Shaw's Travels in Barbary and the Levant was printed at Oxford, in 1738. Richard Pococke commented unfavourably on parts of the work in his Description of the East (1745), and Shaw published two supplements in vindication, which were incorporated in the edition of 1757.

Today Shaw is better known in France than his native England.

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  1. Watkins, J., An Universal Biographical and Historical Dictionary . New ed. 1821.
  2. Lee, Sidney, ed. (1897). "Shaw, Thomas (1694-1751)"  . Dictionary of National Biography . 51. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. ↑ Aperçu historique, statistique et topographique sur l'État d'Alger à l'usage de l'armée expéditionnaire d'Afrique, Paris, 1830.