Leigh, Edward

, a learned theological writer of the seventeenth century, the son of Henry Leigh, esq. was born at Shawell in Leicestershire, March 24, 1602-3. He had his grammatical learning under a Mr. Lee of Waishall in Staffordshire; and when removed td Oxford, became a commoner of Magdalen-hall, in 1616, under Mr. William Pemble, a very celebrated tutor of that society. After completing his degrees in arts in 1623, he removed to the Middle Temple for the study of the law. During the violence of the plague in 1625, he took that opportunity to visit France; and on his return to the Temple, added to his law studies those of divinity and history, in both which he attained a great stock of knowledge. He was in fact a sort of lay divine, and superior to many of the profession. About 1636, we find him representing the borough of Stafford in parliament, when some of the members of that, which was called the Long parliament, had withdrawn to the king at Oxford. Mr. Leigh’s sentiments inclining him to remain and to support the measures of the party in opposition to the court, he was afterwards appointed to a seat in the assembly of divines, and certainly sat with no little propriety in one respect, being as ably skilled in matters of divinity and ecclesiastical history as most of them. He was also a colonel of a regiment in the parliamentary service, and custos rotulorum for the county of Stafford. He was not, however, prepared to approve of all the proceedings of the parliament and army; and having, in Dec. 1648, voted that his majesty’s concessions were satisfactory, he and some others, who held the same | opinion, were turned out of parliament. From that time he appears to have retired from public life, and to have employed his time in study. He died June 2, 1671, at Rushall Hall in Staffordshire, and was buried in the chancel of that church. His works, which afford abundant proofs of his learning and industry, are, 1. “Select and choice Observations concerning the first twelve Cssars,” Oxon, 1635, 8vo. Additions were made to this work both by himself and his son Henry, who published an enlarged edition in 1657, 8vo, with the title of “Analecta Ccesarum Romanorum.” Two other editions, with farther improvements and plates of coins, &c. appeared in 1664 and 1670, 8vo. 2. “Treatise of Divine promises,” Lond. 1633, often reprinted, and was the model of Clarke’s “Scripture Promises,” and other collections of the same kind. 3. “Critica Sacra, or the Hebrew words of the Old, and of the Greek of the New Testament,” Lond. 1639, and 1646, 4to, afterwards enlarged with a supplement, to 2 vols. folio. This was one of the books on which the late learned Mr. Bowyer bestowed great pains, and had filled it with critical notes. 4. “A Treatise of Divinity,” ibid. 1648, 1651, 8vo. 5. “The Saint’s encouragement in evil times or observations concerning the martyrs in general,” ibid. 1648, 8vo. 6. “Annotations on all the New Testament,” ibid. 1650, folio. 7. “A philological Commentary; or, an illustration of the most obvious and useful words in the Law, &c.” ibid. 1652, &c. 8. “A System or Body of Divinity,1654, and 1662, folio. 9. “Treatise of Religion and Learning,” ibid. 1656, folio, which not succeeding, was republished in 1663, with only the new title of “Fcelix consortium, or a fit conjuncture of Religion and Learning.H). “Choice French Proverbs,” ibid. 1657, 1664, 8vo. 11. “Annotations on the five poetical books of the Old Testament, viz. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles,” ibid. 1657, folio. 12. “Second considerations of the high court of Chancery,1658, 4to. 13. “England described,1659, 8vo, mostly from Caraden*. 14. “Choice observations on all the kings of England, from the Saxons to the death of Charles I.1661, 8vo. 15. “Three Diatribes, or Discourses, of travel, money, and measuring, &c.1671, 8vo; in another edition it is called the “Gentleman’s Guide.” 16. “Two Sermons,” on the magistrate’s authority, by Christ. Cartwright, B. D. To these sir Edward prefixed a preface in vindication of his own character for appearing | in the assembly of divines. This gentleman is by some writers called Sir Edward Leigh, but not so by Wood, nor can we find any information respecting his being knighted. In all his works, that we have seen, he is styled Edward Leigh, Esq. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. II. Fuller’s Worthies Nichols’s Bowyr.