Thomas Smith (c. 1624 - 27 Sept 1661) was an English scholar, translator, and controversialist, fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, and University Librarian from 1659 to his death.
Christ's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college includes the Master, the Fellows of the College, and about 450 undergraduate and 170 graduate students. The college was founded by William Byngham in 1437 as God's House. In 1505, the college was granted a new royal charter, was given a substantial endowment by Lady Margaret Beaufort, and changed its name to Christ's College, becoming the twelfth of the Cambridge colleges to be founded in its current form. The college is renowned for educating some of Cambridge's most famous alumni, including Charles Darwin and John Milton.
He was the son of Thomas Smith, born in London in 1623 or 1624. He studied at St Paul's school, and was admitted sizar of Christ's College on 26 March 1640, at the age of 1640. He took a BA in 1644, an MA in 1647, and a BD in 1654. He was made vicar of Caldecote, South Cambridgeshire in 1650, and University Librarian in 1659, holding the latter post until his death from an epidemic on 27 September 1661.
At Trinity College, Dublin and the University of Cambridge, a sizar is an undergraduate who receives some form of assistance such as meals, lower fees or lodging during his or her period of study, in some cases in return for doing a defined job.
He engaged in controversies with the Quaker George Fox, and against John Bunyan. He was a collaborator and corrector in the press of the "London" Polyglot Bible of Bishop Brian Walton.
George Fox was an English Dissenter, who was a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers or Friends. The son of a Leicestershire weaver, he lived in times of social upheaval and war. He rebelled against the religious and political authorities by proposing an unusual, uncompromising approach to the Christian faith. He travelled throughout Britain as a dissenting preacher, often being persecuted by the disapproving authorities. In 1669, he married Margaret Fell, widow of a wealthy supporter, Thomas Fell; she was a leading Friend. His ministry expanded and he made tours of North America and the Low Countries. He was arrested and jailed numerous times for his beliefs. He spent his final decade working in London to organize the expanding Quaker movement. Despite disdain from some Anglicans and Puritans, he was viewed with respect by the Quaker convert William Penn and the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell.
John Bunyan was an English writer and Puritan preacher best remembered as the author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim's Progress. In addition to The Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan wrote nearly sixty titles, many of them expanded sermons.
Brian Walton was an English priest, divine and scholar.
Edward Knott, real name Matthew Wilson (1582–1656) was an English Jesuit controversialist, twice provincial of the Society of Jesus in England.
William Chillingworth was a controversial English churchman.
Ralph Cudworth was a famed English Christian Hebraist, classicist, theologian and philosopher, and a leading figure among the Cambridge Platonists. From a family background embedded in the early nonconformist environment of Emmanuel College where he studied (1630–45), he became 11th Regius Professor of Hebrew (1645–88), 26th Master of Clare Hall (1645–54), and 14th Master of Christ's College (1654–88). He was a leading opponent of Thomas Hobbes's political and philosophical views, and his magnum opus was his The True Intellectual System of the Universe (1678).
Gilbert Sheldon was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1663 until his death.
John Cosin was an English churchman.
Richard Neile was an English churchman, bishop successively of six English dioceses, more than any other man, including the Archdiocese of York from 1631 until his death. He was involved in the last burning at the stake for heresy in England, that of the Arian Edward Wightman in 1612.
Seth Ward was an English mathematician, astronomer, and bishop.
Thomas Farnaby was an English schoolmaster and scholar.
Thomas Edwards (1599–1647) was an English Puritan clergyman. He was a very influential preacher in London of the 1640s, and also one of the most ferocious polemical writers of the time, arguing from a conservative Presbyterian point of view against the Independents.
Sir Anthony Irby was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1628 and 1682.
Sir Job Charlton, 1st Baronet KS was an English judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1659 and 1679. He was Speaker of the House of Commons of England briefly in 1673.
Thomas Horton D.D. was an English clergyman, Professor of Divinity at Gresham College in London, and President of Queens' College, Cambridge.
Anthony Wotton was an English clergyman and controversialist, of Puritan views. He was the first Gresham Professor of Divinity. Christopher Hill describes him as a Modernist and Ramist.
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Henry Scudder was an English minister of presbyterian views, known as a devotional writer, and member of the Westminster Assembly.
Theophilus Dillingham (1613–1678) was an English churchman and academic, Master of Clare Hall, Cambridge and Archdeacon of Bedford.
Edward Thurland was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1640 and 1673.
John Stoughton (1593?–1639) was an English clergyman, of influential millennial views. He was the stepfather and preceptor in their youth of Ralph Cudworth and James Cudworth.
Thomas Jacomb (1622–1687) was an English ejected minister.
Michael Honywood D.D. was an English churchman, Dean of Lincoln from 1660. Honywood was a bibliophile and he founded and funded the Lincoln Cathedral Library.
(1) John Peile and John Archibald Venn, "Biographical Register of Christ's College, 1505-1905: And of the Earlier Foundation, God's House, 1448-1505", Volume 1 (University Press, 1910).