Drant, Thomas

, an English divine and poet, of the sixteenth century, was educated at St. John’s college, Cambridge, where he took his degree of bachelor in divinity in 1569. The same year he was admitted to the prebend of Firles in the cathedral of Chichester, June 27, and on July 2 to that of Chamberlaynward in St. Paul’s, and March 9 following, he was installed archdeacon of Lewes. He seems to have been chaplain to Grindall, when archbishop of York. He was a tolerable Latin poet, and translated the Ecclesiastes into Latin hexameters, 1572, 4to, and published two miscellanies of Latin poetry, the one entitled “Sylva,” and the other “Poemata varia et externa,” the last printed at Paris. In the “Sylva,” he mentions his new version of David’s psalms, which Wartou supposes to have been in English, and says, he had begun to translate the Iliad, but had gone no further than the fourth book. In 1566 he published what he called “A medicinable Morall, that is, the two bookes of Horace his satyres Englished, according to the prescription of St. Hierome,” &c. Lond. and in the following year appeared “Horace, his arte of Poetrie, Pistles, and Satyrs Englished.” This version, which Drant undertook in the character of a grave divine, and as a teacher of morality, is very paraphrastic, and sometimes parodical. His other publications are, 1. “Gregory Nazianzen his Epigrams and spiritual sentences,1568, 8vo. 2. “Shaklocki, epigrammatis in mortem Cuthberti Scoti, apomaxis,” Lond. 1565, 4to which occurs in Herbert’s Antiquities under the title “An Epygrame of the death of Cuthberte Skotte some tyme beshoppe of Chester, by Roger Shacklocke, and replyed against by Thomas Drant.” 3. “Thomae Drantae Angli, Advordingamiae Praesul,1575, 4to. These two last are in the British Museum. 4. “Three godly and learned Sermons, very necessary to be read and regarded of all men,1584, 8vo. Extracts from these are given in the Bibliographer. The time of his death is no where mentioned, but as the archdeaconry of Lewes was vacant in 1578, it might have been in consequence of that event. 1


Tanner. Phillips’s Theatrum. Warton’s Hist, of Poetry. Bibliographer, No. 13, p. 173. ms. in Lambeth library, No. 805.