Thomas Young (theologian)

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Thomas Young (c. 15871655) was a Scottish Presbyterian minister and theologian, resident in England and a member of the Westminster Assembly. He was the major author of the Smectymnuus group of leading Puritan churchmen. He was also Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, and is known as the tutor to John Milton from the age of about ten.

Westminster Assembly seventeenth-century council for English church reform

The Westminster Assembly of Divines was a council of divines (theologians) and members of the English Parliament appointed from 1643 to 1653 to restructure the Church of England. Several Scots also attended, and the Assembly's work was adopted by the Church of Scotland. As many as 121 ministers were called to the Assembly, with nineteen others added later to replace those who did not attend or could no longer attend. It produced a new Form of Church Government, a Confession of Faith or statement of belief, two catechisms or manuals for religious instruction, and a liturgical manual, the Directory for Public Worship, for the Churches of England and Scotland. The Confession and catechisms were adopted as doctrinal standards in the Church of Scotland and other Presbyterian churches, where they remain normative. Amended versions of the Confession were also adopted in Congregational and Baptist churches in England and New England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Confession became influential throughout the English-speaking world, but especially in American Protestant theology.

Smectymnuus was the nom de plume of a group of Puritan clergymen active in England in 1641. It comprised four leading English churchmen, and one Scottish minister (Young). They went on to provide core leadership for the anti-episcopal forces in the Church of England, continuing into the Westminster Assembly, where they also opposed the Independent movement.

Jesus College, Cambridge constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England

Jesus College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. The college's full name is The College of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist and the glorious Virgin Saint Radegund, near Cambridge. Its common name comes from the name of its chapel, Jesus Chapel.

Contents

Life

He was born in Perthshire, his father William Young being a vicar. He studied at St Andrews University, graduating M.A. in 1606. He then moved south to England. [1]

Perthshire registration county in central Scotland

Perthshire, officially the County of Perth, is a historic county and registration county in central Scotland. It extends from Strathmore in the east, to the Pass of Drumochter in the north, Rannoch Moor and Ben Lui in the west, and Aberfoyle in the south. It was a local government county from 1890 to 1930.

In London, from before 1612, he worked as a teaching assistant to Thomas Gataker. [2] He tutored Milton, possibly from 1618 to 1620 or 1622, [3] and continued to correspond with him. [4] He then took a position in Hamburg, as minister to English merchants there, returning to England in 1628 and becoming vicar at Stowmarket. [5]

Thomas Gataker English theologian

Thomas Gataker was an English clergyman and theologian.

Hamburg City in Germany

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million.

Stowmarket town and civil parish in Mid Suffolk, Suffolk, England

Stowmarket is a small market town in Suffolk, England, on the busy A14 trunk road between Bury St Edmunds to the west and Ipswich to the southeast. The town is on the main railway line between London and Norwich, and lies on the River Gipping, which is joined by its tributary, the River Rat, to the south of the town.

He was the primary author of the pamphlet An Answer signed Smectymnuus, an answer to an anonymous publication defending episcopacy and in fact written by Joseph Hall. It sparked off several more publications.

Joseph Hall (bishop) British bishop and writer

Joseph Hall was an English bishop, satirist and moralist. His contemporaries knew him as a devotional writer, and a high-profile controversialist of the early 1640s. In church politics, he tended in fact to a middle way.

He became a Westminster Assembly member in 1643, and Master of Jesus College in 1644. He was expelled as Master in 1650. [6] [7]

Between 1628 and 1655 Young was vicar at the church of St Peter and St Mary in Stowmarket and his portrait hangs on the south wall of the church nave. [8]

Church of St Peter and St Mary, Stowmarket Church in Suffolk, England

St Peter and St Mary's is an Anglican church in Stowmarket, Suffolk. It is an active parish church in the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and the archdeaconry of Ipswich. Its earliest parts date from medieval times.

Works

Notes

  1. William Riley Parker, Gordon Campbell, Milton: A Biography (revised edition 1996), p. 12.
  2. Christopher Hill, Milton and the English Revolution (1977), pp. 25-6.
  3. Arthur Barker, Milton's Schoolmasters, The Modern Language Review, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Oct., 1937), pp. 517-536, gives reasons why 1622 is unlikely.
  4. http://www.nndb.com/people/017/000084762/
  5. http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/MIC_MOL/MILTON_JOHN_16081674_.html
  6. "Young, Thomas (YN644T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  7. http://www.jesus.cam.ac.uk/college/history/masters.html#young Archived 2009-07-05 at the Wayback Machine .
  8. Paine, C. St Peter and St Mary's Church, Stowmarket, Official Church Guide, St Peter and St Mary's Church, Stowmarket
Academic offices
Preceded by
Richard Sterne
Master of Jesus College, Cambridge
1644–1655
Succeeded by
John Worthington

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