Thomas Tryon

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Thomas Tryon (September 6, 1634 – August 21, 1703) was an English merchant, author of popular self-help books, and early advocate of vegetarianism.

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-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies 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.

Merchant businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others

A merchant is a person who trades in commodities produced by other people. Historically, a merchant is anyone who is involved in business or trade. Merchants have been known for as long as industry, commerce, and trade have existed. During the 16th-century, in Europe, two different terms for merchants emerged: One term, meerseniers, described local traders such as bakers, grocers, etc.; while a new term, koopman, described merchants who operated on a global stage, importing and exporting goods over vast distances, and offering added value services such as credit and finance.

Vegetarianism practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter.

Contents

Thomas Tryon, engraving by Robert White Thomas Tryon White.jpg
Thomas Tryon, engraving by Robert White

Life

Born in 1634 in Bibury near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England, he had to work spinning wool as a child and received no education. [1] As a teenager, he worked as a shepherd till the age of eighteen and managed to learn reading and writing in his spare time. [2] In 1652 he moved to London without telling his parents and apprenticed with a hatter. [2] He became an Anabaptist in 1654 under the influence of his master. [2] He liked the ascetic lifestyle of that congregation, but soon he found his own independent spiritual way after reading the writings of Jakob Böhme. In 1657 he heard an inner voice, which he named the "Voice of Wisdom", encouraging him to become a vegetarian and to live on a frugal diet. [3] He married in 1661 but failed to convert his wife to his lifestyle. [4]

Bibury village and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England

Bibury is a village and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England. It is on both banks of the River Coln which rises in the same (Cotswold) District and which is a Thames tributary. The village is centred 6 12 miles (10 km) northeast of Cirencester. Arlington Row here is a nationally notable architectural conservation area depicted on the inside cover of all United Kingdom passports. It is a major destination for tourists visiting the traditional rural villages, tea houses and many historic buildings of the Cotswold District; it is one of six places in the country featured in Mini-Europe, Brussels. Bibury is also famous as Emperor Hirohito's favourite place in England and as the home of no-one famous or remarkable.

Cirencester market town in east Gloucestershire, England

Cirencester is a market town in east Gloucestershire, England, 80 miles (130 km) west northwest of London. Cirencester lies on the River Churn, a tributary of the River Thames, and is the largest town in the Cotswold District. It is the home of the Royal Agricultural University, the oldest agricultural college in the English-speaking world, founded in 1840. The town's Corinium Museum is well known for its extensive Roman collection. The Roman name for the town was Corinium, which is thought to have been associated with the ancient British tribe of the Dobunni, having the same root word as the River Churn. The earliest known reference to the town was by Ptolemy in AD 150.

Gloucestershire County of England

Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.

He traveled to Barbados hoping to succeed in his hat trade and to profit from greater religious tolerance there, but was shocked by the cruelty of slavery in the plantations. [5] In 1669 he returned to London and settled in Hackney. [6] In 1682 his inner voice told him to engage in writing and to publish books in order to propagate temperance and nonviolence. [7] So in the last two decades of his life he published twenty-seven works on a wide range of subjects, including education, nutrition, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco and other health issues, and treatment of slaves. [8] At the same time he continued his hat trade and grew wealthy. Some of his self-help books sold very well. [9] His most widely read book was The Way to Health, published in 1691 as a second edition of Health's Grand Preservative; or, The Women's Best Doctor (1682). It inspired Benjamin Franklin to adopt vegetarianism. [10] [11] Tryon’s writings also impressed playwright Aphra Behn (whose “On the Author of that Excellent Book Intitled The way to HEALTH, LONG LIFE, and HAPPINESS,” appears in Tryon's 1697 Way to Health"), and vegetarian poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. [12] Tryon died in 1703 and his Memoirs were published posthumously in 1705. [6]

Barbados country in the Caribbean

Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America. It is 34 kilometres in length and up to 23 km (14 mi) in width, covering an area of 432 km2 (167 sq mi). It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 km (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, Barbados is east of the Windwards, part of the Lesser Antilles, roughly at 13°N of the equator. It is about 168 km (104 mi) east of both the countries of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and 400 km (250 mi) north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside the principal Atlantic hurricane belt. Its capital and largest city is Bridgetown.

London Borough of Hackney Borough in United Kingdom

The London Borough of Hackney is a London Borough in Inner London, United Kingdom. The historical and administrative heart of Hackney is Mare Street, which lies 5 miles (8 km) north-east of Charing Cross. The borough is named after Hackney, its principal district.

Abstinence self-enforced restraint from indulging in bodily activities

Abstinence is a self-enforced restraint from indulging in bodily activities that are widely experienced as giving pleasure. Most frequently, the term refers to sexual abstinence, or abstinence from alcohol, drugs, or food.

Ideas

Tryon’s ideas on historical and philosophical matters were heavily influenced by ancient Pythagoreanism, Hinduism, and the teachings of German occultist Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. [13] He considered himself a Christian and tried to reconcile Biblical, Pythagorean and Hindu teachings. His conviction was that there was one true original religion of mankind, followed by Moses, Pythagoras and the Indian Brahmins, but perverted by the majority of Christians. [14] According to him, the main tenets of that faith were pacifism and non-violence to animals; benevolence to all species and vegetarianism were prerequisites for spiritual progress and a possible restoration of Paradise. [15] He explicitly advocated animal rights. [16]

Pythagoreanism system of esoteric and metaphysical beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers

Pythagoreanism originated in the 6th century BC, based on the teachings and beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans. Pythagoras established the first Pythagorean community in Crotone, Italy. Early-Pythagorean communities lived throughout Magna Graecia. Espousing a rigorous life of the intellect and strict rules on diet, clothing and behavior comprised a cult of following Pythagorean's Code. Peculiar, the Code's diet, prohibits the consumption or even touching any sort of bean or legume. Pythagoras’ death and disputes about his teachings led to the development of two philosophical traditions within Pythagoreanism. The practitioners of akousmatikoi were superseded in the 4th century BC as a significant mendicant school of philosophy by the Cynics. The Pythagorean mathēmatikoi philosophers were in the 4th century BC absorbed into the Platonic school.

Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life, widely practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder. This "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, and flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India.

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa Magician, occult writer, theologian, astrologer, alchemist

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim was a German polymath, physician, legal scholar, soldier, theologian, and occult writer.

Tryon was of the opinion that humans are a miniature image of the universe (microcosm). [17] He voiced ecological and conservationist concerns about the pollution of rivers and the destruction of forests. [18] He did not believe in reincarnation, but assumed that the souls of sinners take on the forms of vicious beasts in a nightmarish afterlife. [19]

Macrocosm and microcosm

Macrocosm and microcosm refers to a vision of cosmos where the part (microcosm) reflects the whole (macrocosm) and vice versa. It is a feature "present in all esoteric schools of thinking", according to scholar Pierre A. Riffard. It is closely associated with Hermeticism and underlies practices such as astrology, alchemy and sacred geometry with its premise of "As Above, So Below".

Conservation movement social and political advocacy for protecting natural resources

The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental, and social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including animal and plant species as well as their habitat for the future.

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References

  1. Stuart, Tristram: The Bloodless Revolution, New York 2007, p. 60; Spencer, Colin: The Heretic’s Feast. A History of Vegetarianism, London 1993, p. 206.
  2. 1 2 3 Stuart p. 60-61; Spencer p. 206.
  3. Stuart p. 61.
  4. Spencer p. 206.
  5. Stuart p. 60-62.
  6. 1 2 Aithen, George Atherton (1889). "Marriage with Mary Scurlock". The Life of Richard Steele. Edinburgh and London: Ballantyne Press. pp. 204–05. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
  7. Stuart p. 62.
  8. Stuart p. 62-63, 509-511 (with list of Tryon's publications).
  9. Stuart p. 62-64.
  10. Spencer p. 207, 232.
  11. Franklin, Benjamin. His Autobiography.
  12. Stuart p. 63-64.
  13. Stuart p. 64-77.
  14. Stuart p. 65-66, 77.
  15. Stuart p. 65-67.
  16. Stuart p. 71-72.
  17. Stuart p. 75.
  18. Stuart p. 72-73.
  19. Stuart p. 76-77.

See also

List of abolitionist forerunners

Further reading

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<i>Encyclopædia Britannica</i> Eleventh Edition 11th edition of Encyclopædia Britannica

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