Thomas Wilson (lexicographer)

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Thomas Wilson (1563–1622) was an English Anglican priest, known as the compiler of an early biblical reference work.


Thomas Wilson Thomas Wilson Cross.jpg
Thomas Wilson


Born in County Durham, Wilson matriculated at The Queen's College, Oxford on 17 November 1581, aged 18. He graduated B.A. on 7 February 1584, and was licensed M.A. on 7 July 1586. He was elected chaplain of the college, apparently before he was ordained, on 24 April 1585. [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, Billingham 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.

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.

In July 1586 Wilson was appointed rector of St. George the Martyr, Canterbury through the influence of Henry Robinson, to whom he had owed his college education. He remained at Canterbury for the rest of his life, preaching three or four sermons every week, and popular with Puritans, but complained of by others to Archbishop George Abbot for nonconformity. He was acting as chaplain to Thomas Wotton in 1611. [1]

Canterbury Cathedral city in Kent, England

Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour.

Henry Robinson (bishop) Bishop of Carlisle

Henry Robinson was an English cleric who served as Bishop of Carlisle from 1598 to 1616. He was educated at The Queen's College, Oxford. He was elected fellow of Queen's in 1575, was Principal of St Edmund Hall, Oxford from 1576 to 1581, and then Provost of Queen's from 1581 to 1598. He was also a member of Gray's Inn from 1601 and took part in the Hampton Court Conference of 1603.

George Abbot (bishop) Archbishop of Canterbury

George Abbot was an English divine who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1611 to 1633. He also served as the fourth Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin, from 1612 to 1633.

Wilson died at Canterbury in January 1622, and was buried in his own churchyard, outside the chancel, on the 25th. A funeral sermon was preached by William Swift of St. Andrew's, Canterbury. He was married and left a large family. [1]


Wilson's major work was his Christian Dictionarie (London, 1612), one of the earliest attempts made at a concordance of the Bible in English. It ran through many editions. The fourth was enlarged by John Bagwell (n.d., London); the fifth appeared in 1647; the sixth (1655) was further expanded by Andrew Symson. [1]

Bible concordance A verbal index to the Bible

A Bible concordance is a concordance, or verbal index, to the Bible. A simple form lists Biblical words alphabetically, with indications to enable the inquirer to find the passages of the Bible where the words occur.

His Commentarie on the Epistle to the Romans, written in the form of a dialogue between Timotheus and Silas, took Wilson seven years to write. It was reprinted in 1627, and reached a third edition in 1653. In 1611 he published a volume containing Jacob's Ladder; or, a short Treatise laying forth the severall Degrees of Gods Eternall Purpose, A Dialogue about Jvstification by Faith, A Receit against Heresie, and two sermons. With other sermons, and works apparently lost, he wrote Saints by Calling; or, Called to be Saints, London, 1620. [1]

Epistle to the Romans book of the Bible

The Epistle to the Romans or Letter to the Romans, often shortened to Romans, is the sixth book in the New Testament. Biblical scholars agree that it was composed by the Apostle Paul to explain that salvation is offered through the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the longest of the Pauline epistles.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Lee, Sidney, ed. (1900). "Wilson, Thomas (1563-1622)"  . Dictionary of National Biography . 62. London: Smith, Elder & Co.


Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1900). "Wilson, Thomas (1563-1622)". Dictionary of National Biography . 62. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

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<i>Dictionary of National Biography</i> Multi-volume reference work

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