Tucker, William

, a learned divine of the sixteenth century, was the third son of Mr. William Tooker of Exeter, where he was born. He was educated at Winchester school, whence he went to New college, Oxford, and was admitted perpetual fellow in 1577. He completed his master’s degree in 1583, about which time he distinguished himself as a disputant before some illustrious visitors of the university. In 1585 he gave up his fellowship on being promoted to the archdeaconry of Barnstaple in Devonshire. He was afterwards made chaplain to queen Elizabeth, which, Prince says, was occasioned by his writing and dedicating a book to her majesty on the king’s evil, which we shall presently notice. He became afterwards prebendary of Salisbury, and took his degree of D. D. in 1594. He then became canon of the church of Exeter, and dean of Lichfield, but did not attain the latter preferment in consequence of the death of Dr. Boleyne, as | Wood and Prince say, for he succeeded Dr. Montague, and was installed Fei>. 21, 1604. These biographers inform us that king James designed him for the bishopric of Gloucester, and that the conge d’elire was actually issued, but for some reason the king was pleased to revoke it. Dr. Tucker died at Salisbury March 19, 1620, and was buried in the cathedral there.

Dr. Tucker was esteemed an excellent Greek and Latin scholar. “The purity of his Latin pen,” says Fuller, “procured his preferment. He was an able divine, a person of great gravity and piety, and well read in curious and critical authors.” His publications are, 1. “Charisma, sive Donum Sanationis, seu Explicatio totius qusestionis de mirabilium sanitatum gratia, &c.” Lond. 1597, 4to. This is the work which, Prince says, introduced him to the favour of queen Elizabeth. It is a historical defence of the power of our kings in curing what is called the king’s evil. Deirio, the Jesuit, answered it, and “with him,” say Wood and Prince, “are said to agree most fanaticks,” and we may add, most persons of common sense. Tucker was, if we mistake not, the first who wrote in defence of the royal touch, and Carte, the historian, the last, or perhaps the celebrated Whiston, who has a long digression on the subject in his life. 2. “Of the Fabrick of the Church and Church-men’s Living,” Lond. 1604, 8vo. This appears’ to have been written to obviate the scruples of some of the puritan party. The subjects treated are: I. “Of parity and imparity of gifts; of competency and incompetency of men’s livings; and of the reward of men’s gifts or maintenance, so called; of parity and imparity of men’s livings, which ariseth out of the equality or inequality of men’s gifts, and of preferments so called; of singularity and plurality of beneh’ces, and of the cause thereof, viz. dispensations; of the friends and enemies of pluralities; and of supportance and keeping of the fabrick of the church upright, in which he vindicates the hierarchy and constitution of the church of England against the enemies thereof, who are for reducing all to a parity and equality.” 3. “Singulare Certamen cum Martino Becano Jesuita,” Lond. 1611, 8vo, in defence of James I. against Becan and Bellarmin. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. I Prince’s Worthias of Devon. Pullers Worthies. Willis’s Cathedrals.