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 Politicall reflections upon the government of the Tvrks

(1,863 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Francis Osborne Date: 1656 Original Language: English Description Francis Osborne’s  Politicall reflections upon the government of the Tvrks was printed in London in 1656 for his Oxford-based publisher, Thomas Robinson. The work is the first of eight essays in the publication, which has 194 pages.  Politicall reflections was republished in 1661, 1662, 1673 and 1683 as a single volume, and as pp. 255-350 of Osborne’s  Works (1673). In the 1682, 1689, 1700 and 1701 editions of  Works, it ran from page 219 to 290. In the Miscellaneous works (1722), it is the second essay of Volume 2. This…

 ‘The life and death of Mahomet, the prophet of the Turks, and author of the Alcoran’

(1,884 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
‘The life and death of Mahomet’- Alexander Ross, Hugh Ross, Thomas Ross Date: 1649 Original Language: English Description ‘The life and death of Mahomet, the prophet of the Turks, and author of the Alcoran’ occupies pages 395-407 of the 1649 Qur’an translation. It has both number and signature pagination (Cc6-r to Dd4-r). The text was probably written in a hurry after the translation of the French text was complete because an invited contributor failed to deliver. It draws heavily on Samuel Purchas’s  Purchas his pilgrimage, or Relations of the world and religions (1613) and on Michel…

 Correspondence with Safiye Sultan

(2,218 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Elizabeth I Date: 1593, 1599 Original Language: Ottoman Turkish Description Safiye Sultan was born in Albania, probably in 1550 because she was 13 in 1563 when Mihrimah, who functioned as Queen Mother ( Vālide sultan) for Selim II, her younger brother, presented her to the then Prince Murad as a concubine. She had been enslaved by pirates, and according to Matar she converted to Islam ( Islam in Britain, pp. 123-4). In 1566, Safiye gave birth to the future sultan, Mehmed III. At this time, Murad’s relationship with Safiye was monogamous, which gave her the status of Khāṣṣekī, chief or f…

 Posthumous works

(2,050 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Thomas Chubb Date: 1748 Original Language: English DescriptionThomas Chubb’s  Posthumous works were published in two volumes in 1748, edited by friends. Chubb may have written the brief autobiographical sketch that was prefixed to vol. 1 with this publication in mind. Inclusive of indices but excluding prefatory matter, vol. 1 has 428 pages and vol. 2 has 400 pages. Chubb’s remarks on Islam in vol. 1 have attracted most attention, but there are also scattered references to Islam elsewhere. Tantalisingly,…

Richard Knolles

(299 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Richard Knolles’s date of birth is unknown. It was probably towards the end of the 1540s, and his place of birth was possibly Cold Ashby, Northamptonshire. Records show that he attended Lincoln College, Oxford, where he graduated BA (1565) and MA (1570). He was elected Fellow, and remained at the college until August 1572. He returned there as a visitor during 1576. Since he was sent to university, his family were probably gentry. Sir Roger Manwood (d. 1592) appointed him headmaster of …

Wynkyn de Worde

(630 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Wynkyn de Worde was an early printer who served as an apprentice to Johannes Veldener in Cologne and then worked with William Caxton following the latter’s visit to Cologne in 1471-72. In 1475 or 1476, de Worde accompanied Caxton to Westminster, where he eventually inherited Caxton’s printshop after Caxton’s death in 1492. Around 1500, he moved his shop to Fleet Street under the ‘sign of the sun’, which he incorporated into his colophon. The first printer to operate from Fleet Street, h…

 A Shorte Declaration of the Mistery of Iniquity

(1,101 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
The Mistery of Iniquity- Thomas Helwys Date: 1612 Original Language: English Description Believed to have been printed in Amsterdam, this first ever plea for complete religious liberty in English is 212 pages long. Helwys presumably took the copies with him when he returned to England. The title is from 2 Thessalonians 2:7: ‘For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.’ The book begins with a four-page ‘Note to the Reader’, and an outline of the contents. Pagination cited below is from the 1935 facsimile edition. Sections 1-7 discuss the respective remits of the temporal and s…

 Doutes sur la religion

(2,107 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
‘Doubts about religion’ John Toland Date: Uncertain; before 1719 Original Language: French Description Doutes sur la religion is one of several inter-related texts that circulated clandestinely in manuscript form among a coterie of radical thinkers in 18th-century Europe. Members were Deists, Freemasons, pantheists and religious sceptics, and included Count Henri de Boulainvilliers (d. 1722), Benjamin Furly (d. 1714), Yves de Vallone (d. 1705), Charles de Saint-Évremond (d. 1703), Pierre Desmaizeaux (d. 1745) and Baron d’Holbach …

 De vita et rebus gestis Mohammedis

(1,170 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
La vie de Mahomet‘Life of Muḥammad’ John Gagnier, Johannes Gagnier Date: 1723 Original Language: Latin (with Arabic) DescriptionGagnier’s Latin De vita et rebus gestis Mohammedis: moslemicae religionis auctoris et imperii saracenici fundatoris was published in Oxford in 1723. It is 160 pages long, with the Arabic original and translation in parallel columns. The Arabic manuscript of Abū l-Fidāʾ’s  Al-mukhtaṣar completed in 1329, of which it is a translation, was part of the collection donated to the Bodleian Library by Edward Pococke. In the annotatio…

Jean Gagnier

(604 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
John Gagnier, Johannes Gagnier Date of Birth: 1670 Place of Birth: Paris Date of Death: 2 March 1740 Place of Death: Oxford BiographyJean Gagnier was born in Paris, probably in 1670. His background is unknown before he attended the Collège de Navarre in that city, where he developed his interest in Arabic and Hebrew. After ordination as a Catholic priest, he became a canon-regular of the Abbey of St Genevieve in Paris, but at some point in the late 17th century he converted to Protestantism, ‘being convinced of his errors’ (Agnew, Protestant exiles, p. 388) and, around about 1700, he…

John Milton

(2,144 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography John Milton was born at the family home in Bread Street, London, on 20 December 1608, the third child of John and Sara Milton. The senior John Milton, a member of the Company of Scriveners, was also a published composer. Growing up in the Bread Street house, the younger John Milton was surrounded by music and song, and developed an appreciation of both. He learned the organ, the bass viol, and part-singing. Initially educated at home by tutors, he started to write poetry at an early age…

Isaac Barrow

(542 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Isaac Barrow was born in London in October 1630. He was educated at Charterhouse and Felstead, and later at Trinity College, Cambridge. He graduated in 1649, and by the time he took his MA in 1652 he had built up a reputation as an accomplished scholar in mathematics and the natural sciences. His royalist sympathies made it difficult to continue at Cambridge and he left for Paris in 1655. By February 1656, he was in Italy, and then travelled east to Smyrna, moving on to Constantinople that summer. In Turkey, he studied John Chrysostom an…

Thomas Helwys

(686 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Thomas Helwys, a co-founder of the Baptist denomination in Britain, was born in Nottinghamshire into a prosperous family belonging to the landed gentry. The exact date of his birth is unknown. It was probably during 1575, although 1550 is also commonly cited. He enrolled at Gray’s Inn in 1592, and qualified there as a barrister in 1595. Already his father’s heir, he settled in the family home at Broxtowe Hall, and by then he had developed separatist and Puritan sympathies, partly influenced by his uncle, Sir Gervase Helwys, Lieutenant of the Tower of London (d. 1615). By 1600, Bro…

 The first anniversary of the government

(1,927 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Andrew Marvell Date: 1655 Original Language: English Description The first anniversary of the government under His Highness the Lord Protector was published anonymously in January 1655. In iambic pentameter and rhyming couplets, it is a poem of 402 lines. It was printed by Thomas Newcombe, formerly printer to the king, in an 18-page broadsheet and was to be sold by Samuel Gellibrand at the Golden Ball in St Paul’s Churchyard. The poem was first credited to Marvell in the 1681 edition of his  Miscellaneous poems, where it appeared as The first anniversary of the government under OC (pp. 1…

 Correspondence with Sultan Murad III

(3,739 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Elizabeth I Date: 1579-95 Original Language: Latin Description Murad III ruled from 1574 until his death in 1595. Court correspondence between Murad and Elizabeth began in 1579 and continued until his death. Murad wrote in Ottoman Turkish, which was translated by a  dragoman into Latin. Elizabeth always replied to Murad in Latin. Incidentally, Europeans at this time studiously avoided calling the Ottoman Empire by that name; it was always Turkey (MacLean,  Looking East, p. 6). Istanbul, too, was always Constantinople; the name was not officially changed until 1923 (Allinson, Monar…

The Life and Death of Mahomet

(28 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim Relations The Life and Death of Mahomet Clinton Bennett

Thomas Roe

(1,114 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
BiographyThe exact date of Thomas Roe’s birth is not known, but since he was baptised at St Lawrence Jewry, London, on 8 March 1581, he must have been born earlier that year. His father, Robert (1550-87) was a haberdasher and landowner. Roe (or Rowe) studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, from 1593, and left four years later to enrol in the Middle Temple without taking a degree. The Inns of Court were London’s centres of learning where, as well as studying, law students wrote poetry and plays. Roe counted rising literati as friends, including John Donne and Ben Jonson (Brown,  Itinerant ambassa…

Fynes Moryson

(752 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Fynes (also Fines and Fiennes) Moryson (also Morison) was born at Cadeby, Lincolnshire, probably during 1565 or 1566. His father, Thomas, held an important post in the Treasury (he was Clerk of the Pipes) and represented Great Grimsby in Parliament in 1572, 1584, 1586 and 1588-9. Moryson matriculated at Peterhouse, Cambridge, in 1580, graduating BA in 1584. Elected a Fellow, with duties as Bursar, his MA followed after three years (1587). By 1589, Moryson was studying civil law but by t…

Henry Blount

(590 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Henry Blount (or Blunt) was born on 15 December 1602 at Tyttenhanger, Hertfordshire. His father Thomas, who served for some time as sheriff of Hertfordshire, was knighted in 1603. The Blount family acquired their Tyttenhanger estate from Thomas’s aunt; before the dissolution of the monasteries, it had belonged to St Albans Abbey. Henry was educated at St Alban’s free school and at Trinity College, Oxford, graduating with a BA in 1618. He enrolled at Gray’s Inn, London, and then in 1629 …

Elizabeth I

(892 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Elizabeth was born on 7 September 1533, the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn. Unlike her elder half-sister Mary, she was raised as a Protestant. She succeeded Mary in 1558. In the next 45 years, she presided over the expansion of England’s overseas trade, voyages of discovery and a literary Renaissance. On the one hand she downplayed her gender, believing that her role as sovereign transcended this, while on the other she did nothing to discourage what amounte…

 Calvino-turcismus, id est calvinisticae perfidiae cum mahometana collatio et utriusque sectæ confutatio

(1,333 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Calvino-turcismus'"Calvino-turcismus", a comparison of the error of Calvinism with "Muhammadanism" and a refutation of each sect''A rebuttal of Calvinism by refuting the amalgam of Calvinism and Islam' William Rainolds Date: 1597 Original Language: Latin Description Calvino-turcismus is a Latin text of 1,222 pages, divided into four books. The title introduces the novel notion that Calvinism and Islam are so similar that they can be regarded as one combined heresy. Rainolds supports this argument by referencing accounts of Jews a…

Francis Osborne

(652 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Francis Osborne (or Osborn) was born on 26 September 1593 on his father’s estate, Chicksands Priory in Bedfordshire, the youngest son of Sir John and Dorothy Osborne. Despite his considerable literary reputation, relatively few biographical details are known. He appears to have been privately educated, and may have travelled in Europe as a teenager (Potter, ‘Introduction’, p. vii). According to Wood, Osborne was employed in London for some time by the Earls of Pembroke, becoming master of the horse (Wood and Bliss, Athenae  Oxonienses, vol. 1, p. 706). Before his fath…

Thomas Hobbes

(1,354 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Thomas Hobbes, often called Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, was born on 5 April 1588 in Westport, a parish in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Members of the Hobbes family had held civic office. His father, Thomas Hobbes, a poorly-paid curate, was later excommunicated due to his behaviour, after which he abandoned the family and died in obscurity. A childless uncle took an interest in Hobbes and financed his schooling. He attended Magdalen Hall, Oxford, graduating with a BA in 1608, and in the same …

 An account of the rise and progress of Mahometanism

(3,398 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
The originall & progress of Mahometanism- Henry Stubbe Date: 1671-6 Original Language: English Description Henry Stubbe’s book on the rise and progress of Islam was not printed until 1911 (its full title is  An account of the rise and progress of Mahometanism, and a vindication of Mahomet and his religion from the calumnies of the Christians), when H.M.K. Shairani edited a version based on one of three complete extant manuscripts (MS Oxford, Bodleian Library – Eng. Misc. c. 309), which Charles Hornby (d. 1739) had copied from an earlier source in 17…

George Sale

(961 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: 1697 Place of Birth: Canterbury, Kent Date of Death: 13 November 1736 Place of Death: Surrey Street, Strand, London BiographyGeorge Sale, son of a London merchant, Samuel Sale, was born in Canterbury, ‘probably ... around 1697’ (Thomson, ‘Sale’, p. 179). The exact date is unknown. Although his earliest biographer states that Sale attended the prestigious King’s School, Canterbury, records do not confirm this (Davenport, ‘Sketch of the life’, p. xi). However, his later accomplishments indicate that he r…

 Remarks upon the manners, religion and government of the Turks

(3,339 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Thomas Smith Date: 1678 Original Language: English Description Remarks upon the manners, religion and government of the Turks: Together with a survey of the seven churches of Asia, as they now lie in their ruines; and a brief description of Constantinople, published in London in 1678, is Thomas Smith’s translation ‘with some enlargements’ of his earlier Latin text,  Epistolae quatuor, quarum duae de moribus ac institutis Turcarum agunt, duae septem Asiae ecclesiarum et Constantinopoleos notitiam continent (1674). This in turn was an expansion of his earlier  Epistolæ duæ: quar…

David Jones

(628 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: Probably 1660 Place of Birth: Llwynrhys, Cardiganshire, Wales Date of Death: 1720 Place of Death: Probably Clerkenwell, London BiographyDavid Jones was probably born in or soon after 1660 in Llwynrhys, in the parish of Llanbadarn Odwyn, Cardiganshire, the year that his father John Jones (1640-1722), an early Congregational minister, is believed to have married Margaret Edwards. The Jones’ house was first licensed for nonconformist worship in 1672 and remained in use until 1735 (Gordon,  Freedom after ejection, p. 294). Jones may have attended a grammar schoo…

William Rainolds

(895 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography William Rainolds (also Reynolds) was born around about 1544 in Pinhoe, near Exeter. He was the second of Richard Rainolds’s five sons. An uncle, Thomas, was later warden of Merton College, Oxford, and dean of Exeter. William attended Winchester School, and then New College, Oxford. He became a probationary Fellow in 1560 and a permanent fellow in 1562. In 1563, he graduated with a BA, and took his MA in 1567. At Oxford, he gained a reputation for his debating abilities and for his ‘sincere love to the Protestant cause’ (Wood, Bliss and University of Oxford, Athenae Oxonienses, p. 6…

 Nazarenus: Or, Jewish, gentile, and Mahometan Christianity

(2,418 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- John Toland Date: 1718 Original Language: English DescriptionJohn Toland’s  Nazarenus: Or, Jewish, gentile, and Mahometan Christianity was published in London in 1718 (references below refer to this edition). A second, revised edition was published later the same year with the same pagination. The work  was also included in the posthumously published  Theological and philosophical works of the late Mr John Toland (1732), edited by Toland’s earliest biographer, Pierre Desmaizeaux (where it begins at p. 104). It consists of a preface (i-xxv), two letter…

 Nauigation and vyages

(1,232 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Nauigation and vyages- Richard Eden Date: 1576 Original Language: English Description Eden completed his translation of the Latin version of Ludovico di Varthema’s (c. 1470-1517) account of his travels in Arabia, then to India and further east, just before his death in 1576. The Italian version, Itinerario de Ludouico de Varthema bolognese, appeared in 1510, the Latin in 1511. Eden’s translation was published posthumously in The historie of travayle into the West and East Indies, the 1577 enlarged version of his Decades of the New Worlde (1555), where it comprises pages 354-421.…

Orientalist tropes, themes and pseudo-Orientalist novels, plays and poetry in 18th-century English literature

(48 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsOrientalist tropes, themes and pseudo-Orientalist novels, plays and poetry in 18th-century English literatureClinton Bennett

 Decades of the Newe Worlde, or West Indies

(1,727 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
De orbe novo decades- Richard Eden Date: 1555 Original Language: English Description Eden’s Decades of the New World gives an English translation of the first three books of Pietro Martire d’Anghiera's Latin De orbe novo decades, using the 1533 edition. It also translates the first part of Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes’s La historia general de las Indias (1535), and gives an abridged account of Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage of circumnavigation. The whole book is 446 pages long, excluding preliminary sections. Written by Eden in a quasi-official c…

 The lives and memorable actions of many illustrious persons of the eastern nations

(899 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- George Sale Date: 1739 Original Language: English Description The lives and memorable actions of many illustrious persons of the eastern nations, such as khalifas, sultans, wazirs, who have distinguish’d themselves, either by war, learning, humanity, justice, etc., extracted from the most authentick Oriental chronologers and historians was published in London in 1739. The main text is 300 pages long. A brief Advertisement at the beginning states that the ‘ingenious Mr. George Sale’ designed and began the work using original manuscripts an…

 Epitome fidei et religiones Turcicæ

(1,372 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
‘Summary of the Turkish faith and religion’ Isaac Barrow Date: 1657 Original Language: Latin Description The Latin treatise,  Epitome fidei et religiones Turcicæ, a Muhameto Kureischita Arabum propheta, prius in Arabia Deserta, postea a successoribus per totum penè Orientem diffusae, was written during 1657, when Barrow was at the British Embassy in Constantinople. He wrote it for Trinity College after receiving a reprimand for his failure to write while on travel leave, ‘to appease his colleagues’ and ‘make up for his long silence’ (Feingold, Before Newton, p. 52). In  Opuscula, it…

Samuel Purchas

(645 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Samuel Purchas was born in Thaxted, Essex, probably in November 1577, since he was baptised on 20 November. He matriculated at St John’s College, Cambridge, in 1594, graduating BA in 1597 and MA in 1600. He was ordained deacon in the Church of England in 1598, and priest in 1601. Later, he received the Lambeth BD (1615), which was incorporated at Oxford the same year. Stubbe cites this as one of only a few Lambeth degrees granted before the Restoration (W. Stubbe, ‘Correspondence of Sylvanus Urban: Lambeth degrees’, Gentleman’s Magazine 216 (1864) 633-5, p. 635). After a cu…

Robert Wilson

(502 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Robert Wilson (also spelled Wylson) was probably born during the 1540s, calculating from more certain dates associated with his career. Nothing is known about his parentage or schooling. Given his erudition and writing skill, he presumably received a good education, possibly at a grammar school, although no records of this have been identified. His burial record refers to him as a ‘yeoman’, a designation that was usually reserved for members of the social class immediately below the lan…

 Here after foloweth a lytell treatyse agaynst Mahumet and his cursed secte

(2,201 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Here after foloweth a lytell treatyseIn Mahuetan et eius sectum- Christopher Saint German Date: 1530 or 1531 Original Language: English Description Printed in 1531 and thought anonymous until the recent identification of Christopher St German as author, this polemical tract of 88 pages sets out to refute Islam by presenting it as a form of Christian heresy. Nine chapters follow a two-page introduction. The list of contents is at the back. Chapter 1 covers Muḥammad’s (spelled ‘Mahumet’ throughout) birth, and Chapter 2 purports to describe how Muḥammad set himself up…

Miscellanea Aurea: Or the Golden Medley

(34 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsMiscellanea aurea: Or the golden medleyClinton Bennett

 The Lepanto of James sixt, King of Scotland

(1,510 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
His Majesties Lepento or, Heroricall Song being part of his Poeticall exercises at vacant hours- James I Date: 1591 Original Language: English Description The Lepanto of James Sixt, King of Scotland is a short epic poem by James when he was still king of Scotland, commemorating the defeat of the Ottoman navy in 1571 by a coalition of Catholic states known as the Holy League, led by Don John of Austria (1547-78). This was the only Ottoman set-back during the 16th century and many Europeans saw it as proof that the Ottomans could be defeated, and even as indicating their demise and imminent end. Wr…

Edward Gibbon

(860 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: 8 May 1737 Place of Birth: Putney, Surrey Date of Death: 16 January 1794 Place of Death: St James Street, London BiographyEdward Gibbon was born on 8 May 1737 in Putney, Surrey, the son of Edward and Judith Gibbon, and was the only one of their six children to survive into adulthood. Mainly educated privately due to ill health, he spent several years at a school in Kingston-upon-Thames (1746-8) and was briefly at Westminster School (1749-50), which his father had attended. Following an improvement in his…

 The Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed

(4,039 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- George Sale Date: 1734 Original Language: English DescriptionGeorge Sale’s  The Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed, translated into English immediately from the original Arabic; with explanatory notes, taken from the most approved commentators. To which is prefixed a preliminary discourse was first published in London in 1734 by J. Wilcox. The translation itself is preceded by a ‘Dedication’ to Lord Carteret, an introduction ‘To the reader’, and the long ‘Preliminary discourse’.  The ‘Dedication’ is indicative of Sale’s approach in the rest of the work…

 Relation of a journey

(3,908 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- George Sandys Date: 1615 Original Language: English Description A relation of a journey began an: Dom 1610. Fovre books. Containing a description of the Turkish empire of  Ægypt, of the Holy Land, of the remote parts of Italy, and ilands adioyning, was first published in 1615. A dedication to the then Prince of Wales, who as Charles I would appoint Sandys a gentleman of his privy chamber, follows initial engravings, with a map of the eastern Mediterranean accompanying. Then come the 309 pages of text, divided into four books. The first edition was ‘an expensive folio volume’ (Schleck,  Tell…

Edmund Spenser

(1,277 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Edmund Spenser was born in London, although his family may have originated from Lancashire. His name occasionally appears as Edmond Spenser and as Edmund Spencer. His father may have been a John Spenser, who worked for the Merchant Taylors’ Company, which would explain why Edmund attended the Merchant Taylors’ School, founded in 1561, possibly a member of the first class. At Merchant Taylors’, Edmund was mainly exposed to the humanities under a headmaster, Richard Mulcaster (1531-1611),…

Christopher Saint German

(783 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Christopher Saint German was the son of Sir Henry St German and his wife, Lady Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Tyndale, of Hockwold, Norfolk. Although a knight, his father appears to have had limited means. A.F Pollard’s entry for St German in the Dictionary of national biography (1885-1900) states that he is said to have attended Exeter College, Oxford, before preparing for the bar at one of the Inns of Chancery in London. He may have moved to London in about 1480, possibly later. He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple sometime…

John Foxe

(1,205 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography John Foxe was born in 1516 or 1517 in Boston, Lincolnshire, into a moderately wealthy family. His name is occasionally latinised as Foxus, and the ‘e’ is sometimes dropped. He attended the University of Oxford from about 1532, possibly at Brasenose College, although this has been contested (Lee, ‘Foxe, John’, p. 141). He graduated with a BA in 1537, and was elected a full Fellow of Magdalen College in 1539, teaching logic from 1539 to 1540 before proceeding to his MA in 1543 ( Oxf. Univ. Reg., Oxf. Hist. Soc., i, p. 188). He became a Protestant while at Oxford, which app…

James I

(2,032 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography James Stuart became the first ‘King of Great Britain’, as he styled himself, when he succeeded his cousin, Elizabeth I, as king of England in 1603, having succeeded his mother, Mary, as King James VI of Scotland in 1567. He ruled England as James I and was the first monarch of the Stuart dynasty. He was descended from Margaret Tudor, King Henry VII’s daughter, through his father, Lord Darnley and also through his mother. Raised by foster parents, the Earl and Countess of Marom in Stirli…

Introduction: Western Europe and Islam in the long 18th century. Demonisation to dialogue

(5,386 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Between England’s Glorious Revolution in 1688 and the end of the long 18th century, marked by the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, there are continuities and discontinues of themes, tropes and images of Muslims in western Europe. Carried over from the 17th century were concerns about Barbary piracy, slavery, and those who ‘turned Turk’. Perceived as less threatening after the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699, the Ottoman Empire became a source of interest for reasons other than its threatening military prowess, including ways in which it tolera…

 The faerie queene

(2,135 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
The faerie queeneThe faerie queene disposed into twelve books, fashioning XII. morall vertues Edmund Spenser Date: 1596 Original Language: English Description The faerie queene is an epic poem in six books, each with 12 cantos of 48 stanzas each. The first three books were published as a single volume in 1590, printed in London by William Ponsonbie. These three books, together with three new ones, were printed again in 1596. Spenser planned at least six more, but the work remained unfinished when he died. Most of his …

 The Policie of the Turkish Empire

(1,904 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Giles Fletcher the Elder Date: 1597 Original Language: English Description Printed for William Stansby by John Windet in London in 1597,  The Policie of the Turkish Empire, the first booke comprises 25 chapters, running to 164 pages. Recto pages have signature pagination, although some are unnumbered. The dedication, to Henry Carey, first Baron Hunsdon, Lord Chamberlain of the Queen’s House (sig. A2v to A2r), is followed by a note to the reader (sig. A3v to A4v, recto is blank). Fletcher’s name does not appear in the text, but the work is routinely attributed to him. The text itself is …

John Toland

(1,209 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: 30 November 1670 Place of Birth: Ardagh, County Donegal, Ireland Date of Death: 11 March 1722 Place of Death: Putney, London BiographyJohn Toland (also Jean and Johannes Toland, and Joannes Tolandus) was born on 30 November 1670 in Ardagh, County Donegal. He later claimed to have been baptised with the name Junius Janus, but called himself John to escape ridicule at school. His parents’ identities are unknown. His father may have been a Catholic priest, but by the age of 16 Toland had become a Protestant…

 Orientalist tropes, themes and pseudo-Orientalist novels, plays and poetry in 18th-century English literature

(9,370 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Orientalist tropes, themes and pseudo-Orientalist novels, plays and poetry in 18th-century English literature Date: - Original Language: English DescriptionThis selection is of 18th-century British and Irish writers whose plays, poems or novels have Oriental allusions that challenged or changed traditional assumed attitudes towards Islam. Various schemes have been developed to discuss Oriental references in English literature, among them Martha Pike Conant’s four groupings of imaginative, moralistic, philosophical and satirical ( The Oriental tale, 1908, p. xxvi)…

 The Generall Historie of the Turkes

(1,781 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Richard Knolles Date: 1603 Original Language: English Description Richard Knolles’s  The Generall Historie of the Turks (in full,  The Generall Historie of the Turkes, from the first beginning of that nation to the rising of the Othoman familie: with all the notable expeditions of the Christian princes against them. Together with the liues and conquests of the Othoman kings and emperours faithfullie collected out of the- best histories, both auntient and moderne, and digested into one continuat historie vntill this present yeare 1603), the result of 12 years of research and…

 Reflections on Mohammedanism and the conduct of Mohammed

(2,182 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Reflections on Mohammedanism and the conduct of Mohammed Date: 1735 Original Language: English Description Reflections on Mohammedanism and the conduct of Mohammed. Occasioned by a late learned translation and exposition of the Koran or Al Koran is a 54-page work published in 1735 by J. Roberts of Warwick Street, London. The author is unknown, and there is nothing in it that points to a possible identity. It draws heavily on George Sale’s  Koran (1734), and was obviously inspired by Sale’s approach to Islam. Like Sale, the author is critical of the view of Muḥamm…

 An itinerary

(1,618 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Fynes Moryson’s Itinerary- Fynes Moryson Date: 1617 Original Language: English Description Moryson first began work on his Itinerary in about 1598. However, he more or less started again in 1609, setting out to produce a shorter, more publishable version. This was eventually published in 1617, printed in four volumes, divided into three parts (its longer title is  An itinerary vvritten by Fynes Moryson Gent. First in the Latine tongue, and then translated by him into English: containing his ten yeeres trauell through the tvvelve domjnions of Germany,…

 Pansebeia; or a View of all the religions of the world

(3,422 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Pansebeia- Alexander Ross, Hugh Ross, Thomas Ross Date: 1653 Original Language: English Description Alexander Ross’s  Pansebeia, or a View of the religions of the world was first published in 1653. By the end of the century, the text had appeared in six editions (several reprinted) and in Dutch, French and German translations. The 1555, 1658 and 1664 (all Octavo or small folio) editions were bound with  Apocalypsis, ... Faithfully and Impartially translated out of the Latine by J.D. This latter work contains the lives of 17 heretics, including Muḥammad, with copperplate…

Henry Stubbe

(1,097 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Henry Stubbe (also Stubbs and Stubb), described by Wood, a contemporary and friend, as ‘the most noted Person of his age’ ( Athenae Oxonienses, vol. 3, p. 1068), was the son of an Anglican clergyman. He was born on 28 February 1632 in Partney, Lincolnshire. His father’s Separatist sympathies resulted in his ejection from his living, after which the family moved to Ireland. When the 1641 Irish uprising broke out, Henry’s mother took him and another of her children to safety in London, where she supported herse…

Richard Eden

(1,460 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Richard Eden was born in about 1520 or 1521, possibly in Herefordshire, into a merchant family, although some of his relatives were ordained. He went to Cambridge in 1534. Biographers speculate that he had a clerical career in mind. He attended Christ’s College, then Queens’ College, graduating with a BA in 1538. At Cambridge, he was taught and influenced by Sir Thomas Smith (1515-77), professor of civil law from 1542 until 1553, later a secretary of state and ambassador to France. Smit…

John Hughes

(553 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: 29 January 1677 Place of Birth: Marlborough, Wiltshire Date of Death: 17 February 1720 Place of Death: London BiographyJohn Hughes was born in Marlborough, Wiltshire, on 29 January 1677, and was named John after his father, who worked as a clerk for a London insurance company. The Hughes family were non-conformists, so John attended a dissenting academy run by Thomas Rowe (d. 1705), whose ‘free philosophy’ approach to teaching abandoned traditional texts. Rowe taught many students who later became public figures. Hughes found employment in the Ordnance Office, bu…

Reflections on Mohammedanism and the conduct of Mohammed

(38 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Place of Death: Biography Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Works on Christian-Muslim RelationsReflections on Mohammedanism and the conduct of MohammedClinton Bennett

Thomas Herbert

(709 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Thomas Herbert was born in York in late 1606 into a prominent merchant family of Welsh origin. Although his father Christopher (d. 1625) was unsuccessful commercially, Herbert benefitted from his wealthy grandfather’s estate. In 1621, he began legal studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, from where he later transferred to Jesus College, Oxford. Enrolment at one of the Inns of Court probably followed. There are no records of his attending any of these institutions, although Wood and Bliss include his biography in  Athenae Oxonienses. By 1626, through family connection…

 The Life and Death of Mahomet

(2,590 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- The Life and Death of Mahomet Date: 1637 Original Language: English Description The Life and Death of Mahomet (in full  The Life and Death of Mahomet, The Conquest of Spaine together with the Rysing and Ruine of the Sarazen Empire), published in 1637, was attributed to the explorer and soldier Sir Walter Raleigh (c. 1551-1618), although he almost certainly did not write it. A number of other texts were also spuriously attributed to him. The work is 273 pages long, although there are only 15 full lines of print on each page. It carries a portrait of Sir Walter Raleig…

Andrew Marvell

(1,054 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Andrew Marvell was born at Winestead, East Yorkshire, on 31 March 1621. His father, also Andrew Marvell, became lecturer (indicating his Puritan loyalty) at Holy Trinity Church, Kingston upon Hull, and Master of Charterhouse Hospital, a charitable foundation, in 1624. Marvel attended Hull Grammar School (there is no actual record, though this is generally accepted) then Trinity College, Cambridge, from the early age of 12. He graduated BA in 1638, and proceeded to study for his MA, but …

Thomas Chubb

(892 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: 26 September 1679 Place of Birth: East Harnham, Salisbury Date of Death: 8 February 1747 Place of Death: In or near Salisbury BiographyThomas Chubb was born on 29 September 1679 at East Harnham, Salisbury. His father, Henry Chubb, died in 1688, and by 1694 Chubb was apprentice to a glove-maker, though poor eye-sight led him to change his occupation in 1705 to that of assistant to a tallow-chandler. He may briefly have attended a local charity school, but he makes no reference to this in his autobiographical sketch ( Posthumous works, vol. 1, pp. ii-viii) and appears to ha…

 Sermon 14. Of the impiety and imposture of paganism and Mahometanism

(1,789 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Isaac Barrow Date: Uncertain; probably 1670s Original Language: English Description It is not known precisely when Isaac Barrow preached this sermon, though it was probably in Trinity College chapel in the early 1670s as part of his series of sermons on the Creed. Similar content, at times word for word the same, is found in his ‘Exposition of the Creed’, written in 1669, and this is possibly the reason why this latter work was omitted from the first edition of Barrow’s Works (I. Simon,  Three Restoration divines, Paris, 1967, p. 306). The ‘Exposition’ was published separately i…

 Court correspondence

(1,861 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- James I Date: 1603-25 Original Language: Latin Description James I corresponded with a number of Muslim rulers, especially with the Ottoman sultan and with the Mughal emperor. He initiated the latter correspondence, while the former had developed under his predecessor Elizabeth I, during whose reign the Levant Company had been formed (1581) and an ambassador appointed to Istanbul (1583). Early in his reign, James received letters from the Ottoman sultan extending friendship. These are archived in State…

Richard Hakluyt

(1,629 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Richard Hakluyt was born in London, probably in 1552. His father, also Richard Hakluyt, who died in 1557, was a member of the Skinners’ Company. The name Hakluyt is thought to be of Welsh origin, although Dutch has also been suggested (Laughton, ‘Hakluyt, Richard’, p. 11; variant spellings include Hackellet, Hackeluite, Hackeluett and Hacluit). The younger Richard (also known as Hakluyt the Preacher) was able to attend the prestigious Westminster School from 1564 as a Queen’s scholar. I…

Henry Smith

(667 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: Probably 1560 Place of Birth: Withcote, Leicestershire Date of Death: 4 July 1591 Place of Death: Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire Biography Henry Smith was born into a wealthy Leicestershire family, probably in 1560. In 1573, he became a fellow-commoner at Queens’ College, Cambridge, but soon left to study privately with Richard Greenham (1535-94), rector of Dry Drayton, Cambridgeshire, who instructed him in Puritan theology. By 1576, Smith was a student at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he gained his…

 God's arrow against atheists

(1,996 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
God's arrow against atheists- Henry Smith Date: 1593 Original Language: English Description Although it is included in a book of sermons, God’s arrow against atheists is really an apologetic tract in which Henry Smith set out to prove that there is a God who should be worshipped. It was first published as a pamphlet in 1593, and it later appeared in Smith’s collected sermons (1657, vol. 2). In the 1866 edition, it is the 24th section (pp. 333-418) with six chapters. Chapter 1 refutes ‘atheism’, chapter 2 argues that Christianity is the only true religion, chapter 3 co…

Giles Fletcher the Elder

(808 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Giles Fletcher was baptised on 26 November 1546 in Watford, Hertfordshire, and was therefore probably born in late October or early November (Cooper, ‘Fletcher, Giles’, p. 299, gives 1549 as his year of birth). Since his father, Richard Fletcher (d. 1586), was vicar of Bishop’s Stortford at the time, he is likely to have been born there. He is also known as Giles Fletcher the Elder to distinguish him from his son, Giles the Younger (d. 1623), who became a poet of note, as did his other …

 The Journal of Sir Thomas Roe

(2,041 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Thomas Roe Date: 1619 Original Language: English DescriptionThe Journal of Sir Thomas Roe (its title in full is The journal of Sir Thomas Roe: Embassador from His Majesty King James the First of England to Ichan Guire, the mighty Emperor of India, commonly call’d the Great Mogul: containing an account of his voyage to that country and his observations there) was not published in full until the 19th century. Samuel Purchas included about a third of it in Purchas his pilgrimes (1625), together with some letters, but the complete text and additional letters were not publishe…

 The palace of pleasure

(2,175 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
The palace of pleasureThe palace of pleasure beautified, adorned and well furnished, with pleasaunt histories and excellent nouelles, selected out of diuers good and commendable authors William Painter Date: 1566, 1567, 1575 (3 volumes) Original Language: English Description The palace of pleasure is a three-volume work containing a total of 101 tales, in novella form, translated from a variety of Greek, Latin, French and Italian sources. Vol. 1 was published in 1566, with 60 novellas and was dedicated to the Earl of Warwick, vol. 2 ap…

 Islam in the writings of Stephen Nye, William Whiston and Samuel Clarke

(3,458 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Three Anglican Unitarians: Stephen Nye, William Whiston and Samuel Clarke Date: 1687-1749 Original Language: English DescriptionStephen’s Nye’s  A brief history of the Unitarians, called also Socinians, in four letters written to a friend (1687) is 167 pages long. It contains two passages referring to Islam. First, in its discussion of Christian states that permit profession of Unitarianism, it lists some parts of Transylvania and the Netherlands where liberty of conscience is recognised as part of ‘civil rights’, and also ‘M…

Simon Ockley

(649 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: 1678 Place of Birth: Exeter Date of Death: 9 August 1720 Place of Death: Swavesey, Cambridgeshire BiographySimon Ockley was born in Exeter in 1678 to a family from Norfolk. He graduated from Cambridge in 1698, and at about that time he began lecturing in Hebrew. Ordained deacon at Norwich, he was appointed curate at Swavesey, Cambridgshire. When he was ordained priest at Ely in 1705, he succeeded to the living of Swavesey as vicar. He married in about 1701 and between 1702 and 1708 had six children, of whom four survived childhood.  He was encouraged by Humphrey Prideaux t…

 Here begynneth a lytell treatyse of the turkes lawe called Alcaron. And also it speketh of Machamet the nygromancer

(1,739 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Here begynneth a lytell treatise- Wynkyn de Worde Date: Probably 1515 or 1519 Original Language: English Description Probably published in 1515, this work is an illustrated tract of 12 pages on six leaves, including what functions as a title page and which reads ‘Here begynneth a lytell treatyse of the turkes lawe called Alcoran. And also it talketh of Machamet the Nygromancer’, really the first two sentences rather than a title. The text is almost entirely reproduced from Wynkyn de Worde’s edition of the Travels of John Mandeville, which he had first printed with 72 woodcuts in 1…

 Correspondence with Sultan Aḥmad al-Manṣūr al-Saʿdī

(2,791 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Elizabeth I Date: 1579-1603 Original Language: Unspecified Description Beginning in 1579 and continuing until the year in which both rulers died, Elizabeth I and Sultan Aḥmad al-Manṣūr al-Saʿdī of Morocco (r. 1578-1603) exchanged letters and diplomatic missions, and engaged in mutually beneficial trade. Their letters are mainly found in the National Archives at Kew (State Papers, Foreign 71, and Royal Letters, 102 sub series Barbary) and the British Library (Cotton, Nero B Viii and Xii). Many are reproduced in de Castries, Les sources inédites de l’histoire du Maroc, while a num…

 An universal history

(1,006 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- George Sale Date: 1736-68 Original Language: English Description An universal history, from the earliest account of time compiled from original writers. By the authors of the antient part appeared in 65 volumes between 1736 and 1768. Vols 22-65 add  The modern part of to the title. Although George Sale died in 1736, his name remained associated with the series alongside his fellow editors George Psalmanazar, Archibald Bower, George Shelvocke, John Campbell, and John Swinton. In fact, the series was frequently referred to as ‘Sale's  Universal history’ (Morrison, ‘Book note’,…

 A compleat history of the Turks

(978 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- David Jones Date: 1701-19 Original Language: English DescriptionDavid Jones’  A compleat history of the Turks: from their origin in the year 755, to the year 1701. Containing the rise, growth, and decay of that empire, in its respective periods, under their several kings and emperors. ... With the life of their prophet Mahomet first appeared in two volumes in 1701. Following the pattern established by Richard Knolles (d. 1610) in his  Generall historie of the Turkes (1603), Jones gave a chapter to the reign of each sultan. In fact, in the parts up to the 17th century, Jones more or les…

 The history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire

(4,511 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Edward Gibbon Date: 1776-89 Original Language: English DescriptionEdward Gibbon’s  The history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788, with revised editions of the first three volumes appearing between 1776 and 1789. The first edition of volume 1 (1776) was followed by five revisions before the last three volumes were published (1788). By then, two editions (1781 and 1787) of volumes 2 and 3 were in print. During 1789, the sixth edition of volume 1 and a thi…

 Miscellanea aurea: Or the golden medley

(2,821 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Miscellanea Aurea: Or the Golden Medley Date: 1720 Original Language: English Description Miscellanea aurea: Or the golden medley is a collection of texts, including poetry and travel narratives, chosen by an anonymous compiler for the entertainment of readers and especially the Duke of Buckingham, to whom the book is dedicated (pp. A2-A4). Items, described as ‘Letters’, are mostly anonymous, although among those with attributions are the opening letter (pp. 1-34) signed Carlo Amontesocio, a pseudonym for the h…

Chapter 7. Christian perceptions of Muḥammad

(10,370 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Introduction: Setting the scene Christian writings about Muḥammad during the first thousand years of Christian-Muslim encounter were almost all negative and hostile, presenting an attitude of virtually unrelieved antipathy. Tropes and legends developed that continued to shape Christian ideas about Muḥammad well into the early modern period, some of them still lurking in Christian writings even today. Major foci were Muḥammad’s moral conduct, how he spread Islam, how he allegedly compiled the Qur’an,…

 De Turcopapismo

(1,303 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
'Turcopapism' Matthew Sutcliffe Date: 1599, 1604 Original Language: Latin Description De Turcopapismo was first published in London in 1599, at 248 pages long, then in 1604 as a much larger work, 605 pages long, divided into four books (its full title is  De Turcopapismo, hoc est, de Turcarum & Papistrum aduersùs Christi ecclesiam & fidem coniuratione, eorúm; in religione & moribus consensione & similitudine, liber vnus. Eidem ... adiuncti sunt, de Turcopapistarum maledictis & calumnijs, aduersus Gulielmi Giffordi ... volumen ... quo…

George Sandys

(1,255 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography George Sandys was born on 2 March 1578 in Bishopthorpe Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of York, the youngest son of Archbishop Edwin Sandys (d. 1588). He probably attended St Peter’s School in York before matriculating at St Mary Hall, Oxford, on 5 December 1589. He soon transferred to Corpus Christi, where two older brothers had studied. However, before taking his degree, he moved to London’s Middle Temple, although there is no record that he was called to the bar. At …

 Foxe's Book of martyrs

(3,015 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Foxe's Book of martyrsActes and monuments of these latter and perillous dayes, touching matters of the church;, Actes and monuments- John Foxe Date: 2nd English edition, 1570 Original Language: English Description Foxe’s  Actes and monuments (its full title is  Actes and monuments wherein are comprehended and described the great persecutions and horrible troubles that have been wrought and practiced by the Romish Prelates, speciallye in the Realme of England and Scotland from the peace of our Lord a thousande unto the tyme now present) appeared in four editions during his lif…

 A voyage into the Levant

(2,903 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Henry Blount Date: 1636 Original Language: English Description Using the pagination from the 1977 facsimile edition,  A voyage into the Levant by Henry Blount, identified as ‘HB, gentleman’ on the title page then in full at the end of the work, has 126 pages. (The full title is  A voyage into the Levant a briefe relation of a journey lately performed Master H. B, gentleman, from England by the way of Venice into Dalmatia, Sclavonia, Bosna, Hungary, Macedonia, Thessaly, Thrace, Rhodes and Egypt unto Gran Cairo: with particular observations c…

 The three ladies of London

(1,768 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Robert Wilson Date: 1584 Original Language: English Description Robert Wilson’s  The three ladies of London (in full,  A right excellent and famous comœdy called The three ladies of London. Wherein is notablie declared and set foorth, how by the meanes of Lucar, Loue and Conscience is so corrupted, that the one is married to Dissimulation, the other fraught with all abomination) was performed by Leicester’s Men during 1581. It was first published in 1584, and Wilson then revised it in 1592. Since then, various reprints and editions have appeared, several in the 21st century.  The 1584 …

Alexander Ross, Hugh Ross, Thomas Ross

(3,334 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Alexander Ross (d. 1654), Hugh Ross (d. 1649) and Thomas Ross (d. 1675) (also rendered Rosse), all members of the Scottish clan Ross, have each been identified as translator and editor of the first English version of the Qur’an, the 1649 translation of André du Ryer’s French translation. Alexander Ross’s authorship of the appendix, ‘A needful caveat’, which bears his name, is undisputed. However, responsibility for other sections of the publication, namely, a translator’s note to Christ…

 Two very notable commentaries

(1,448 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Two very notable commentaries- John Shute Date: 1562 Original Language: English Description Two very notable commentaries is John Shute’s translation of two Italian texts (its full title is Two very notable commentaries the one of the originall of the Turcks and Empire of the house of Ottomanno, written by Andrewe Cambine, and the other of the warres of the Turcke against George Scanderbeg, prince of Epiro, and of the great victories obteyned by the sayd George, as well against the Emperour of Turkie, as other princes, and …

 The siege of Damascus

(2,438 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- John Hughes Date: 1720 Original Language: English Description The siege of Damascus: A tragedy. As it is performed at the Theatre-Royal by His Majesty’s servants was first performed on 17 February 1720. It was well received, and it remained popular, with frequent revivals. There was a second imprint from the prompt-book during the same year, and since then reprints have regularly appeared. It was issued as a Best English Plays volume in 1750, and was included in Walter Scott’s  British drama collection in 1804. Hughes had actually completed the play in 1718, but the theatre m…

 Purchas his Pilgrimage

(2,775 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Samuel Purchas Date: 1613 Original Language: English Description The first edition of Purchas his Pilgrimage (in full,  Purchas his Pilgrimage, or Relations of the world and the religions observed in all ages and places discouered, from the Creation unto this present. In foure parts) was published in 1613. The second, enlarged edition appeared in 1614, the third in 1617 and the fourth in 1626. Each successively increases in size: 1613, 752 pages plus front and end matter; 1614, 627 pages plus front matter; 1617, 1031 pages plus front matter; 1626, 1047 pages plus front and end matter. Cop…

 The principall navigations

(5,308 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Richard Hakluyt Date: 1589 Original Language: English Description The first edition of Richard Hakluyt’s  Principall navigations (to give its full title,  The Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the Engllish Nation Made by Sea or Over Land, to the Most Remote and Farthest Distant Quarters of the Earth at any Time within the Compasse of these 1500. Yeeres: deuided into three seuerall parts, according to the positions of the regions whereunto they were directed ... Whereunto is added the last most renowned English nauigation, round about the whole globe of the earth) wa…

William Painter

(576 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography William Painter (also spelt Payntor) is said to have belonged to a Kentish family, although his background is obscure. He has been confused with another William Painter, who attended Cambridge University and later became Master of Sevenoaks School and an ordained deacon (he probably died in 1597). In his 1890 edition of Painter’s most important work, The palace of pleasure, Jacobs reprints Haslewood’s 1813 biographical sketch. This refers to Painter’s appointment as grammar-master at Sevenoaks, which induced Haslewood to assume that ‘he must h…

 ‘A needful caveat or admonition’

(1,489 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Alexander Ross, Hugh Ross, Thomas Ross Date: 1649 Original Language: English Description ‘A needful caveat or admonition for these that desire to know what use may be made of, or if there be danger in reading the Alcoran’ is the only section of the 1649 Qur’an that was not translated from the original French and to which authorship is attributed. It was written by Alexander Ross. It is a 14-page appendix, added after the main text had been printed. It was probably commissioned as a result of efforts to sup…

John Shute

(606 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography There is no recorded information about John Shute’s family background and education. By 1557, he appears in records as a captain in the army of Lord Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln (1512-85), accompanying him to France. When Clinton became Constable of the Tower of London, Shute was appointed a master gunner. In 1569, Shute became a yeoman of the ordinance for life and also spent time working for Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth I’s secretary of state, reviewing troops in the Netherlands,…

 A Relation Of Some Yeares Travaile Begunne Anon 1626

(1,748 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Some yeares travels into divers parts of Asia and Afrique- Thomas Herbert Date: 1634 Original Language: English Description The first edition of A Relation Of Some Yeares Travaile, of 1634, was ‘about 250 pages’ long with 35 ‘copper plate engravings ... probably’ by the printer, W. Marshall, ‘based on Herbert’s own drawings’ ( Travels in Persia, ed. Foster, p. ix). This description is based on the 1638 enlarged edition. Herbert’s title indicates that the text is both a travel narrative and a description of various kingdoms in Africa and Asia, especi…

 Euangelium infantiæ : vel, Liber apocryphus de infantia Servatoris

(442 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
‘The Gospel of the infancy , or the apocryphal book of the infancy of the Saviour’ Henry Sike Date: 1697 Original Language: Latin (with Arabic) Description Euangelium infantiæ is a 100-page annotated Latin translation of an Arabic manuscript that had belonged to Jacobus Golius (d. 1667). Already in the process of translating the Qur’an, Sike would have been attracted to this work by references in the Qur’an to some of its contents. He did not himself versify the Latin translation, but when it was reproduced by J.A. Fabricius ( Codex apocryphus Novi Testamenti,  Hamburg, 1703), he divid…

 Paradise Lost: A poem in twelve books

(3,215 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- John Milton Date: 1667, 1674 Original Language: English Description John Milton’s epic poem,  Paradise Lost, written in blank verse or ‘English heroic’, was first published in quarto in 1667. It was divided into ten books. The second edition in octavo followed in 1674, reorganised into 12 books (on the difference between the two editions, see R.G. Moyles,  The text of Paradise Lost, Toronto, 1985). The poem has 10,565 lines. Many editions and works of commentary have followed (see Miner, Moeck and Jablonski, Three centuries). Several poets have produced rhyming versions. It h…

 The Alcoran of Mahomet

(2,304 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Alexander Ross, Hugh Ross, Thomas Ross Date: 1649 Original Language: English Description The Alcoran of Mahomet (in full, The Alcoran of the Mahomet, Translated out of Arabick into French, by the Sieur du Ryer, Lord of Malezair, and Resident for the King of France at Alexandria and newly Englished for the satisfaction of all that desire to look into the Turkish Vanities. To which is prefixed, the life of Mahomet, the prophet of the Turks, and author of the Alcoran. With A needful caveat, or admonition, for them…


(3,366 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
- Thomas Hobbes Date: 1651 Original Language: English Description The first edition of  Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme & Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclestiasticall and Civill, was published for Hobbes at the Green Dragon in St Paul’s Churchyard by Andrew Crooke in 1651. This is known as the ‘Head edition’ due to the printer’s device (a head on a capital) on the title page. There were two versions of this edition, one printed on large-size paper (35 cm high) with a hand drawn red line in the margin, an expensive edition …

Three Anglican Unitarians: Stephen Nye, William Whiston and Samuel Clarke

(1,825 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Date of Birth: Nye, 1648; Whiston, 9 December 1667; Clarke, 11 October 1675 Place of Birth: Nye, Rickling, Essex; Whiston, Norton juxta Twycrosse, Leicestershire; Clarke, Norwich Date of Death: Nye, 6 Jan 1719; Whiston, 22 August 1752; Clarke, 17 May 1729 Place of Death: Nye, Little Hormead, Hertfordshire; Whiston, Lyndon Hall, Rutland; Clarke, London Biography Stephen Nye, William Whiston and Samuel Clarke were all known during their lives as anti-Trinitarians or as Unitarians, even though they were ordained Church of England clergy. Stephen Nye, the eldest of the three, was…

Matthew Sutcliffe

(616 words)

Author(s): Bennett, Clinton
Biography Matthew Sutcliffe or Sutclyfe was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, in 1549 or 1550, the second of five sons born to John and Mary Sutcliffe. At the age of 15 he entered Peterhouse, Cambridge, moving to Trinity as a scholar in 1568. He graduated BA in 1571, MA in 1574. A minor fellow from 1572, he became a major fellow during 1574 and began to study law. By 1581, he was  lector mathematicus, an LLD and had probably been ordained, although one source thinks that this happened later (Troup, ‘Biographical notes’, p. 173). In 1582 he was admitted as a member of Doct…
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