Thomas Stanley (author)

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Sir Thomas Stanley
Thomas Stanley 1660.jpg
Cumberlow, Hertfordshire
Died12 April 1678(1678-04-12) (aged 53)
Suffolk Street, Strand, London
Resting place St Martin-in-the-Fields, London
OccupationAuthor and translator
EducationB.A. (Cantab), M.A. (Cantab)
Alma materPembroke Hall, Cambridge
Notable worksThe History of Philosophy,
The History of Chaldaick Philosophy
SpouseDorothy Emyon,
Catherine Killigrew

Sir Thomas Stanley (1625 12 April 1678) was an English author and translator.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.



He was born in Cumberlow, Hertfordshire, the son of Sir Thomas Stanley of Cumberlow and his wife, Mary Hammond. Mary was the cousin of Richard Lovelace, and Stanley was educated in company with the son of Edward Fairfax, the translator of Tasso. He proceeded to Cambridge in 1637, in his thirteenth year, as a gentleman commoner of Pembroke Hall. In 1641 he took his M.A. degree, but seems by that time to have proceeded to Oxford. [1] He subsequently embarked on a legal career, entering the Middle Temple in 1664 to study law. [2]

Hertfordshire County of England

Hertfordshire is one of the home counties in southern England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region.

Richard Lovelace English writer and poet

Richard Lovelace was an English poet in the seventeenth century. He was a cavalier poet who fought on behalf of the king during the Civil War. His best known works are "To Althea, from Prison", and "To Lucasta, Going to the Warres".

Edward Fairfax was an English translator.

He was wealthy, married early, and travelled much in Europe. He was the friend and companion, and at need the helper, of many poets, and was himself both a writer and a translator of verse. His portrait was painted by Sir Peter Lely and by Sir Godfrey Kneller; in all he was painted at least fifteen times.

Peter Lely 17th-century Dutch painter

Sir Peter Lely was a painter of Dutch origin whose career was nearly all spent in England, where he became the dominant portrait painter to the court.

Godfrey Kneller painter from Germany active in the United Kingdom

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Stanley is the last of the metaphysical poets; born into a later generation than that of Edmund Waller and John Denham, he rejected their influence in prosody and forms of fancy. He admired Moschus, Ausonius, and the Pervigilium Veneris ; among the moderns, Joannes Secundus, Gongora and Giambattista Marino.

Metaphysical poets term used to describe a loose group of British lyric poets of the 17th century

The term metaphysical poets was coined by the critic Samuel Johnson to describe a loose group of 17th-century English poets whose work was characterized by the inventive use of conceits, and by a greater emphasis on the spoken rather than lyrical quality of their verse. These poets were not formally affiliated and few were highly regarded until 20th century attention established their importance.

Edmund Waller English poet and politician

Edmund Waller, FRS was an English poet and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1624 and 1679.

John Denham (poet) English poet and courtier

Sir John Denham FRS was an Anglo-Irish poet and courtier. He served as Surveyor of the King's Works and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Stanley's major work was The History of Philosophy, a series of critical biographies of philosophers, beginning with Thales; the life of Socrates included a blank verse translation of The Clouds of Aristophanes. It appeared in three volumes between 1655 and 1661. A fourth volume (1662), bearing the title of The History of Chaldaick Philosophy, was translated into Latin by Jean Le Clerc (Amsterdam, 1690). The three earlier volumes were published in an enlarged Latin version by Gottfried Olearius (Leipzig, 1711). In 1664 Stanley published in folio a monumental edition of the text of Aeschylus.Richard Bentley is said to have appreciated his scholarship, and to have made use of Stanley's notes, on Callimachus.

Socrates Classical Greek Athenian philosopher

Socrates was a classical Greek (Athenian) philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as being the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought. An enigmatic figure, he made no writings, and is known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers writing after his lifetime, particularly his students Plato and Xenophon. Other sources include the contemporaneous Antisthenes, Aristippus, and Aeschines of Sphettos. Aristophanes, a playwright, is the main contemporary author to have written plays mentioning Socrates during Socrates' lifetime, though a fragment of Ion of Chios' Travel Journal provides important information about Socrates' youth.

Blank verse Unrhymed iambic pentameter

Blank verse is poetry written with regular metrical but unrhymed lines, almost always in iambic pentameter. It has been described as "probably the most common and influential form that English poetry has taken since the 16th century", and Paul Fussell has estimated that "about three quarters of all English poetry is in blank verse".

Jean Leclerc (theologian) Genevan theologian and biblical scholar

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History of philosophy, 1731 Stanley - History of philosophy, 1731 - 4713768.tif
History of philosophy, 1731
Juan Pérez de Montalbán Spanish Catholic priest, dramatist, poet and novelist

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London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Family and death

Stanley's first wife was Dorothy Emyon, daughter and coheir of Sir James Emyon, of Flore, Northamptonshire, with issue Thomas Stanley (1650 – death unknown).

After Dorothy's death, Stanley married Catherine Killigrew, with no issue. He died at his lodgings in Suffolk Street, Strand, London on 12 April 1678, and was buried in the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields. [4] His widow died in Cumberlow in 1689.


  1. "Stanley, Thomas (STNY639T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. Hutchinson, John. A Catalogue of Notable Middle Templars: With Brief Biographical Notices. p. 233.
  3. London: printed for Humphrey Moseley, at the signe of the Princes Armes in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1647
  4. Chernaik, Walter. "Stanley, Thomas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/26281.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

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