FULLER

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FULLER, Thomas ; an eminent historian and divine of the church of England, in the 17th century. He was born at Aidwinkle, in Northamptonshire, of which parish 'his father was minister. He was sent to Queen's college, Cambridge, and greatly signalized himself by his application to study. He removed to Sidney college in the same university ; and, being chosen minister of St. Bennet's parish, Cambridge, he became very popular as a pulpit orator. In 1631, he obtained a fellowship at Sidney, and was collated to a prebend in the cathedral of Salisbury. The same year, he published a poem entitled David's hainous Sin, heartie Repentance, and heavie Punishment, which was his first production. His History of the Holy War first appeared in 1640, soon after the publication of which he removed to London, and was chosen lecturer at the Savoy church in the Strand. He was a member of the convocation which met in 1640, and was one of the select committee appointed to draw up new canons for the better government of the church. About this period, he published his Holy State (folio). In 1643, he went to Oxford, and joined the king, became chaplain to sir Ralph Hopton, and employed his leisure in making collections relative to English history and antiquities. In 1646, he was permitted, by sir T. Fairfax, to go to London. In 1650, he published a Pisgah Sight of Palestine and the Confines thereof, with the History of the Old and New Testament acted thereon (folio), with maps and views; and in 1650 appeared his Abel Redivivus, consisting of lives of religious reformers, martyrs, divines, &c. In 1656, he published the Church History of Britain, from the birth of Jesus Christ to the year 1648; to which was subjoined the History of the University of Cambridge, Mnce the Conquest, and the History of Waltham Abbey. In 1658, the living of Cranford, ha Middlesex, was bestowed on him, and he removed thither. The restoration taking place in 1660, he was reinstated in Ids prebend of Salisbury. His death took place August 15,1661. The. year after his death was published his principal literary work, the Worthies of England (folio)a production valuable alike for the solid information it affords relative to the provincial histoiy of the country, and for the profusion of biographical anecdote and acute observation on men and manners. The great fault of this, as well as of the former compositions of doctor Fuller, is an elaborate display of quaint conceit, owing, perhaps, more to the natural disposition of the author than to the taste of the age in which he wrote, when, however, that species of wit was much admired. Among the many marvellous stories told of doctor Fuller's powers of memory, it is said that he could repeat 500 strange and unconnected words after twice hearing them, and recite a sermon verbatim, after he had heard it once. His Worthies appeared in a new edition, with his life prefixed, in 1810 (2 vols. 4to.).