Gage, Thomas

, an English clergyman and traveller, was descended from Robert Gage of Haling, in Surrey, third son of sir John Gage, of Firle, in Sussex, who died in 1557. He was the son of John Gage, of Haling, and his brother was sir Henry Gage, governor of Oxford, who was killed in battle at Culham-bridge,' Jan. 11, 1644. Of his early history we are only told that he studied in Spain, and became a Dominican monk. From thence he departed with a design to go to the Philippine islands, as a missionary, in 1625; but on his arrival at Mexico, he heard so bad an account of those islands, and became so delighted with New Spain, that he abandoned his original design, and contented him with a less dangerous mission. At length, being tired of this mode of life, and his request to return to England and preach the gospel among his countrymen being refused, he effected his escape, and arrived in London in 1637, after an absence of twentyfour years, in which he had quite lost the use of his native language. On examining into his domestic affairs, he found himself unnoticed in his father’s will, forgotten by some of his relations, and with difficulty acknowledged by others. After a little time, not being satisfied with respect to some religious doubts which had entered his mind while abroad, and disgusted with the great power of the papists, he resolved to take another journey to Italy, to “try what better satisfaction he could find for his | conscience at Rome in that religion.” At Loretto his conversion from popery was fixed by proving the fallacy of the miracles attributed to the picture of our Lady there; on which he immediately returned home once more, and preached his recantation sermon at St. Paul’s, by order of the bishop of London. He continued above a year in. London, and when he saw that papists were entertained at Oxford and other parts of the kingdom attached to the royal cause, he adopted that of the parliament, and received a living from them, probably that of Deal, in Kent, in the register of which church is an entry of the burials of Mary daughter, and Mary the wife of “Thomas Gage, parson of Deale, March 21, 1652;” and in the title of his work he is styled “Preacher of the word of God at Deal.” We have not been able to discover when he died. His work is entitled “A new Survey of the West-Indies; or the English American his Travail by sea and land, containing a journal of 3300 miles within the main land of America. Wherein is set forth his voyage from Spain to St. John de Ulhua; and from thence to Xalappa, to Flaxcalla, the city of Angels, and forward to Mexico, &c. &c. &c.” The second edition, Lond. 1655, thin folio, with maps. The first edition, which we have not seen, bears date 1648. Mr. Southey, who has quoted much from this work in the notes on his poem of “Madoc,” says that Gage’s account of Mexico is copied verbatim from Nicholas’s “Conqueast of West-India,” which itself is a translation from Gomara. There is an Amsterdam edition of Gage, 1695, 2 vols. 12mo, in French, made by command of the French minister Colbert, by mons. de Beaulieu Hues O’Neil, which, however, was first published in 1676, at Paris. There are some retrenchments in this edition. Gage appears to be a faithful and accurate relator, but often credulous and superstitious. His recantation sermon was published at London, 1642, 4to; and in 165L he published “A duel between a Jesuite and a Dominican, begun at Paris, fought at Madrid, and ended at London,” 4to. 1

1 Censura Literaria, vol. V. —Moreri.