14 Annotations

language hat  •  Link

"the great Tom Fuller"
Now (according to the Companion) "best remembered for his history of English families, The history of the worthies of England (first pub. 1662)." He was a royalist and a popular preacher; Pepys "was especially fond of reading (on Sundays) his Church-history of Britain (1655)."

More (much more) can be found in the (lamentably badly scanned) 1911 Britannica entry here:
http://90.1911encyclopedia.org/F/FU/FULLER_THOM... (scroll down); fans of James Joyce will especially appreciate the mention of his A Pisgah-Sight of Palestine (1650).

Here is the entry on him from The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907

vincent  •  Link

thanks to LH


Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you."
-- Dr. Thomas Fuller (1608-61), English clergyman, writer, "The Church History of Britain
source of interesting quotes

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

He was born within the sound of Bow-bell.
- Gnomologia

I note this quotation from Fuller on one of the links above - does anybody know whether he was the originator of this saying, or whether he was merely repeating a maxim that was commonplace by then?

dirk  •  Link

He was born within the sound of Bow-bell.

I'm sorry, but this quote is from the hand of another Thomas Fuller: "Gnomologia, Adagies and Proverbs, Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British", 1732 by Dr Thomas Fuller MD(Editor) (1654-1734).

"Our" Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), clergyman, divine and historian, wrote his works somewhat earlier. His text on "The Cause and Cure of a Wounded Conscience" from 1647 can be read on:

Thomas Fuller is not an uncommon name.

The **Bow-bell** is referred to in many places, i.a.:
Sir Walter Scott's "The Fortunes Of Nigel": "It is a credit to her, that, bred and born within the sound of Bow-bell, she can blush for any thing."
"Gratiae Ludentes; or, Jestes from the University." by H.L. Oxon, London, 1638: "A Scholler being about to describe one that spake very bigge, said he spake as if he had a Bow-bell in his mouth."

There must have been many expressions with "Bow-bell" around before the 1732 Gnomologia...

Glyn  •  Link

I mistakenly thought that Bow Bells must have been in the district of Bow in east London, but in fact the church is St Mary le Bow, which is in the heart of the City.

This is the church's website:


with a fascinating historical account of Bow Bells:


The Rector of the Church is George Bush, and I can confirm that he is a very nice man having talked to him at one of the church's lunchtime concerts.

dirk  •  Link

St. Mary le Bow cont'd

"Originally called St. Mary New Church (St. Mary Aldermary in Bow Lane was the 'Older' Church), by the Norman period this Church was called Sancta Maria de Arcubus. Arcubus refers to the arch or bow arches which were in the crypt, commemorated in the bows on top of the medieval tower.

When Wren rebuilt the church after the Great Fire or 1666, he alluded to these arches in the apire. When you go outside look up towards the tip and you can see them like little buttresses springing up and keeping this play on words, arches and bows alive."

"The Court of Arches was a court of appeal belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the judge of such court was called the Dean of the Arches because in ancient times he held court in the church of St. Mary le bow (Sancta Maria de arcubus)."

On "The Court of Arches", see:

Emilio  •  Link

Easy-to-read Fuller

The Wikipedia has republished the 1911 encyclopedia article LH links to at the top, but in proofread and much more readable condition:


Bill  •  Link

FULLER, THOMAS An English historian and divine, was born in 1608. He was educated at Queen's College, Cambridge, where he took his degree in arts. On entering into orders, he was presented to the rectory of Broad Windsor, in Dorsetshire. He successively enjoyed several other preferments in the church, and would, probably, have been raised to a bishopric, had he not been taken off by death, in 1661. He wrote "The History of the Worthies of England," a performance of great merit, and many other valuable works. Astonishing things are reported of his memory. From once hearing a sermon, he could repeat the whole of it verbatim. He undertook, in going from Temple-bar to the farther end of Cheapside, to tell at his return every sign as it stood in order, on both sides of the way, repeating them either backwards or forwards, which he performed exactly. He was a learned, industrious, lively writer, but rather too fond of punning. He was a very corpulent man, and once as he was riding with a gentleman of the name of Sparrowhawk, he could not resist the opportunity of passing a joke upon him: "Pray, what is the difference (said he) between an owl and a sparrowhawk?" The other answered this sarcastic question as follows: "An owl is fuller in the head, fuller in the body, and fuller all over.

---Eccentric biography; or, Sketches of remarkable characters, ancient and modern. 1801.

Bill  •  Link

FULLER, THOMАS (1608-1661), divine; M.A. Queens' College Cambridge, 1628; perpetual curate of St. Benet's, Cambridge, 1630; prebendary of Salisbury 1631; rector of Broadwindsor, Dorset, 1634; as curate of the Savoy preached sermons from 1642 in favour of peace between king and parliament; retired to Oxford, 1643; followed the war as chaplain to Sir Ralph Hopton 1644-6; at Exeter as chaplain to the infant Princess Henrietta, 1644-6; returned to London after surrender of Exeter; chaplain to Lord Carlisle; preached in London on sufferance; rector of Cranford and chaplain to Earl Berkeley, 1658; accompanied Berkeley to meet Charles II at the Hague, 1660; after Restoration resumed his canonry and Savoy lectureship and became 'chaplain in extraordinary' to the king; published 'History of the Holy Warre,' viz. the crusades, 1643, 'The Holy State and the Profane State,' 1642; 'A Pisgah-sight of Palestine,' 1650; 'Church History of Britain,' 'History of Cambridge University,' 1655; and 'Worthies of England,' 1662.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.








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