Newton, Thomas

, a Latin poet, divine, schoolmaster, and physician of the sixteenth century, was the eldest son of Edward Newton, of Butley, near Presbury in Cheshire. He was educated at Macclesfield in the same county, under Brownswerd, a schoolmaster of considerable fame. Newton preserved so great a regard for him, as to erect a monument to his memory in Macclesfield church, lyith an inscription which concludes with these lines:

"Alpha poetarum, Coryphæus grammaticorum,

Flos pœdagogum, hac sepelitur humo;"

and commemorates him also in his “Encomia” in equally high terms. From this school Newton was first sent in his thirteenth year to Trinity-college, Oxford, but removed soon after to Queen’s college, Cambridge. In his return to his native country, he stopt at Oxford for a considerable time, and was re-admitted to Trinity-college, and took ordei-s. He was patronised by Robert earl of Essex, and, probably through his influence, was elected master of the grammar-school at Macclesfield. He likewise practised physic, and published some treatises on that subject. In 1583 he left Macclesfield, on being instituted to the rectory of Little Jlford in Essex, where he taught school, continued the practice of physic, and acquired considerable property. Here he died in 1607, and was buried in his church, to which he left a legacy for ornaments. At Cambridge he became eminent for Latin poetry, and was regarded by scholars as one of the best poets in that language, certainly one of the purest of that period.

He wrote, 1. “A notable history of the Saracens, &c. drawn out of Aug. Curio, in three books,” Lond. 1575, 4to. | 2. “A Summary, or brief Chronicle of the Saracens and Turks,” &c. printed with the former. 3. “Approved medicines and cordial precepts, with the nature and symptoms,” &c. ibid. 1580, 8vo. 4. “Illustrium aliquot Anglorum encomia,” ibid. 1589, 4to, at the end of Leland’s “Encomia.” 5. “Atropoion Delion or the death of Delia, with the tears of her funeral. A poetical Discourse of our late Elizabeth,” ibid. 1603, 4to. 6. “A pleasant new History: or a Fragrant Posie made of three flowers: Rose, Rosalynd, and Rosemary,” ibid. 1604. He also corrected “Embryon Relimatum,” written by John Stambridge, but he was not the author of the two parts of Tamerlane the great Scythian emperor, which were written by Marlow. He translated the following works: 7. “A Direction for the Health of Magistrates and Students,” from Gratarolus, Lond. 1574, 12mo; of this a copious extract may be seen in the Bibliographer, vol. II, 8. “Commentary on the two Epistles general of St. Simon and St. Jude,” from Luther, ibid. 1581, 4to. 9. “Touchstone of Complexions,” from Levinus Lemnius, ibid. 1581, 8vo, noticed in the “Censura Literaria,” with an extract, vol. VI. 10. “The third tragedy of L. An. Seneca, entitled Thebais,” ibid. 1581, published with the other translated plays, by Studley, Nevile, &c. Dr. Pulteney thinks that the “Herbal to the Bible,” printed in 1587, 8vo, was by him; and this is not improbable, as it is only a translation, of “Levini Lemnii explicatio similitudjnum quæ in Bibliis ex herbis et arboribus sumuntur.” He conceives also that Newton was the writer of the commendatory lines prefixed to Lyte’s Herbal, in which, after complimenting the author for his judicious selection of useful knowledge from former writers, he has versified, in less than two pages, the names of more than two hundred worthies in medical science, from the earliest antiquity to his own times. Warton observes that most of the ingenious and learned men of that age courted his favours as a polite and popular encomiast. Warton also infers that he was a partizan of the puritans, from no better authority than his having written “Christian friendship, with an invective against dice-play and other profane games,” Lond. 1586. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. I.—Warton’s Hist. of Poetry.—Philips’s Theatrum, by Sir E. Brydges.—Lysons’s Environs, vol. IV.—Pulteney’s Sketches.