Edward Rainbow was born at Bliton near Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire, on the 20th of April, 1608. He was educated at Magdalen college in Cambridge, of which he was some time master. He gave early proofs of the quickness and brilliancy of his parts by an extemporary speech, spoken at a public act, when he was called upon to supply the place of the prevaricator, who was ordered, by the vice-chancellor, to be pulled down for his scurrility. He afterwards acquitted himself with honour in an unpremeditated sermon, preached, at the request of the vice-chancellor, before the university; the person whose turn it was to preach, failing to perform his duty. He was celebrated for his eloquence in the pulpit; but his style was in the former part of his life too florid, and bordering, at least, upon affectation, a fault which he afterwards corrected. He was a man of polite manners, uncommon learning, and of exemplary piety and charity. He died on the 26th of March, 1684. There are only four of his sermons in print, the most considerable of which is that which he preached at the death of Anne, countess of Pembroke, Dorset, and Montgomery. There runs through all his works a vein of the pedantry of the two former reigns.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.