Thomas Triplett

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Thomas Triplett (1602–1670) was an English churchman and teacher, a Canon at Westminster Abbey from 1662 and by his death in 1670 Sub-Dean thee. Triplett was a schoolmaster in Hayes, Middlesex during the Commonwealth period, when cathedrals and canonries were abolished; there is a school in Hayes named after him.

Westminster Abbey Church in London

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign.

Schoolmaster obsolete term for a male school teacher

The word schoolmaster, or simply master, refers to a male school teacher. This usage survives in British independent schools, both secondary and preparatory, but is generally obsolete elsewhere.

Hayes, Hillingdon town in the London Borough of Hillingdon

Hayes is a town in West London, situated 13 miles (21 km) west of Charing Cross. Historically in Middlesex, Hayes became part of the London Borough of Hillingdon in 1965. The town's population was recorded as 95,763 in the 2011 census.


Early life

Thomas Triplett was christened on 6 April 1602, at St Nicholas Cole Abbey, London (near St Paul's Cathedral), the son of Robert Triplett, Master of the Stationers Company of London, and Margery (Cartwright). Triplett was educated at St Paul's School, London and Christ Church, Oxford where he graduated M.A. in 1625. [1]

St Nicholas Cole Abbey Church in City of London

St. Nicholas Cole Abbey is a church in the City of London located on what is now Queen Victoria Street. Recorded from the twelfth century, the church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and rebuilt by the office of Sir Christopher Wren. The church suffered substantial bomb damage from German bombs during the London Blitz in the Second World War and was reconstructed by Arthur Bailey in 1961–2.

St Pauls Cathedral Church in London

St Paul's Cathedral, London, is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London and is a Grade I listed building. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. The present cathedral, dating from the late 17th century, was designed in the English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren. Its construction, completed in Wren's lifetime, was part of a major rebuilding programme in the City after the Great Fire of London. The cathedral building largely destroyed in the Great Fire, now often referred to as Old St Paul's Cathedral, was a central focus for medieval and early modern London, including Paul's walk and St. Paul's Churchyard being the site of St. Paul's Cross.

Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers London livery company

The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, usually known as the Stationers' Company, is one of the livery companies of the City of London. The Stationers' Company was formed in 1403; it received a royal charter in 1557. It held a monopoly over the publishing industry and was officially responsible for setting and enforcing regulations until the enactment of the Statute of Anne, also known as the Copyright Act of 1710. Once the company received its charter, “the company’s role was to regulate and discipline the industry, define proper conduct and maintain its own corporate privileges.”

Early career

In the 1630s Triplett was rector of various parishes in County Durham in the north of England, including Washington (where George Washington's ancestors originated). He was appointed to a canonry at York in 1641, another at Salisbury in 1645, and yet another at Durham in 1648 or 1649. [1]

County Durham County of England

County Durham is a county in North East England. The county town is Durham, a cathedral city. The largest settlement is Darlington, closely followed by Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees. It borders Tyne and Wear to the north east, Northumberland to the north, Cumbria to the west and North Yorkshire to the south. The county's historic boundaries stretch between the rivers Tyne and Tees, thus including places such as Gateshead, Jarrow, South Shields and Sunderland.

Washington, Tyne and Wear town in the City of Sunderland, in Tyne and Wear, England

Washington is a new town in the City of Sunderland local government district of Tyne and Wear, England, and part of historic County Durham. Washington is located geographically at an equal distance from the centres of Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland, hence it has close ties to all three cities.

George Washington 1st president of the United States

George Washington was an American political leader, military general, statesman, and Founding Father, who also served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He commanded Patriot forces in the new nation's War of Independence and led them to victory over the British. He also presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government. He has been called the "Father of His Country" for his leadership during the Revolutionary War and in the formative days of the new nation.

Commonwealth period and after

Triplett's career was interrupted by the English Civil War and the Commonwealth period, when cathedrals and canonries were abolished. He had to earn his living as a schoolmaster, first in Dublin, and then in Hayes, Middlesex, where there remains a school named after him, Dr Triplett's. When King Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660 cathedrals were re-established, and in 1662 Triplett was made a Canon of Westminster Abbey. By his death in 1670 he was Sub-Dean.

English Civil War series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists

The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") over, principally, the manner of England's governance. The first (1642–1646) and second (1648–1649) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended with the Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.

Commonwealth of England Historic republic on the British Isles (1649–1660)

The Commonwealth was the period from 1649 to 1660 when England and Wales, later along with Ireland and Scotland, were ruled as a republic following the end of the Second English Civil War and the trial and execution of Charles I. The republic's existence was declared through "An Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth", adopted by the Rump Parliament on 19 May 1649. Power in the early Commonwealth was vested primarily in the Parliament and a Council of State. During the period, fighting continued, particularly in Ireland and Scotland, between the parliamentary forces and those opposed to them, as part of what is now referred to as the Third English Civil War.

Dublin capital and largest city in Ireland

Dublin is the capital of, and largest city in, Ireland. It is on the east coast of Ireland, in the province of Leinster, at the mouth of the River Liffey, and is bordered on the south by the Wicklow mountains. It has an urban area population of 1,173,179, while the population of the Dublin Region, as of 2016, was 1,347,359, and the population of the Greater Dublin area was 1,904,806.


Triplett does not appear to have been married. Most of his estate at his death was left to his sister Katherine Warne and her three children, then living in Ireland. He founded two charities: one to help apprentices from Washington and nearby places in County Durham; the other to help apprentices from Hayes in Middlesex, Petersham and Richmond, and scholars at Westminster School. Both these charities still exist. In his will he mentioned his relatives in Oxfordshire: cousin Christopher and his brother Richard Triplett; Henry Triplett, son of Paul; and another cousin, Ralph Triplett. His large collection of books left to various people show he must have been a scholar, though no writings are known. Several books with his signature are in the library at Westminster Abbey - he signed his name Triplet. [1]

Ireland Island in north-west Europe, 20th largest in world, politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK)

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

Petersham, London place in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

Petersham is a village in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames on the east of the bend in the River Thames south of Richmond, which it shares with neighbouring Ham. It provides the foreground of the scenic view from Richmond Hill across Petersham Meadows, with Ham House further along the river. Other nearby places include Twickenham, Isleworth, Teddington, Mortlake and Roehampton.

Richmond, London town in London, England

Richmond is a suburban town in south-west London, 8.2 miles (13.2 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is on a meander of the River Thames, with a large number of parks and open spaces, including Richmond Park, and many protected conservation areas, which include much of Richmond Hill. A specific Act of Parliament protects the scenic view of the River Thames from Richmond.

Triplett is buried in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey. His white marble monument is on the west wall of the South Transept. At the top of the monument is a carving (uncoloured) of his coat of arms: a hind courant, pierced through the neck with an arrow, a chief indented (see Heraldry). His Latin epitaph can be translated as follows:

Poets Corner South Transept of Westminster Abbey

Poets' Corner is the name traditionally given to a section of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey because of the high number of poets, playwrights, and writers buried and commemorated there.

Coat of arms unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon

A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon, surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of shield, supporters, crest, and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, family, state, organization or corporation.

Heraldry profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol

Heraldry is a broad term, encompassing the design, display, and study of armorial bearings, as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, rank, and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement. The achievement, or armorial bearings usually includes a coat of arms on an shield, helmet, and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, badges, heraldic banners, and mottoes.

Here rests the Reverend Doctor Thomas Triplett, of the county of Oxford, prebendary of this church: who, right through to his seventieth year of age, made himself dear to God by his piety and constant devotion; to the Learned, by his uncommon skill in the Greek language; to the Poor, by his generosity and continual good works; and to All, by the innocent charm of his character; and finally passed from this life to a better one, on the 18th of July A.D. 1670.

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  1. 1 2 3 "History: Thomas Triplet". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 4 January 2013.