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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…
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