Greene, Thomas

, a worthy English prelate, was the son of Thomas Greene of St. Peter’s Mancroft in Norwich, where he was born in 1658, He was educated in the freeschool of that city, and in July 1674, admitted of Bene’t college, Cambridge, of which he obtained a scholarship, and in 1680 a fellowship, and became tutor. He took his degree of A. B. in 1679, and that of A. M. in 1682. His | first step from the university was into the family of sir Stephen Fox, grandfather of the late hon. Charles Fox, to whom he was made domestic chaplain through the interest of archbishop Tenison, who soon after his promotion to the see of Canterbury, took him under the same relation into his own palace; and collated him April 2, 1695, to the vicarage of Minster in the isle of Thanet; he being, since 1690, D. D. by the archbishop’s faculty. To the same patron he was likewise obliged for a prebend in the cathedral of Canterbury, into which he was installed in May 1702; for the rectory of Adisham cum Staple in Kent, to which he was collated Oct. 2, 1708, and for the archdeaconry of Canterbury, into which he was installed the next month, having been chosen before one of the proctors of the clergy in convocation for that diocese. Upon these preferments he quitted the vicarage of Minster, as he did the rectory of Adisham upon his institution (in Feb. 1716) to the vicarage of St. Martin’s in the Fields, Westminster; to which he was presented by the trustees of archbishop Tenison, for the disposal of his options, of whom he himself was one. This he held in commendam with the bishopric of Norwich, to which he was consecrated Oct. 8, 1721, but was thence translated to Ely, Sept 24, 1723.

Long previous, however, to these high appointments, he was elected, May 26, 1698, master of Bene’t college, upon the recommendation of his friend Tenison, and proved an excellent governor of that society. Soon after he became master, he introduced the use of public prayers in the chapel immediately after the locking up of the gates, that he might know what scholars were abroad, and if necessary, visit their chambers: this practice was found so beneficial as to be continued ever since. In other respects, when vice-chancellor, which office he served in 1699 and 1713, and at the public commencement, he acquitted himself with great skill and dignity. The zeal also which he shewed for the protestant succession in the house of Hanover, upon the death of queen Anne, and his prudent conduct at that juncture, were so acceptable to the court, that they are thought to have laid the foundation of his church preferments; an earnest of which George I. gave him in appointing him one of his domestic chaplains the year following. Dr. Greene resigned the mastership of his college in 1716. He married Catherine sister of bishop | Trimnell, by whom he had two sons and seven daughters. Having made a handsome provision for this family, he died in a good old age, May 18, 1738, and was buried in his cathedral. Those who knew him most intimately inform us that it was his unfeigned and uniform endeavour to exercise a conscience void of offence towards God and man, and to discharge his duty, in the several relations he bore to his fellow creatures, to the best of his judgment and abilities, with the same faith and spirit which appear through all his writings. These writings are, 1. “The Sacrament of the. Lord’s Supper explained to the meanest capacities,” Lond, 1710, 12mo, in a familiar dialogue between a minister and parishioner. 2. “The principles of religion explained for the instruction of the weak,” ibid. 1726, 12mo. 3. “Four discourses on the four last things, viz. Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell,” ibid. 1734, 12mo; and seven occasional sermons, 1


Masters’s Hist, of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.