Thomas Cooper (bishop)
He became master of Magdalen College school, and afterwards practised as a physician in Oxford. His literary career began in 1548, when he compiled, or rather edited, "Bibliotheca Eliotae", a Latin dictionary by Sir Thomas Elyot. In 1549 he published a continuation of
Thomas Lanquet's "Chronicle of the World". This work, known as "Cooper's Chronicle", covers the period from AD 17 to the time of its writing. Following Robert Crowley's 1559 altered and updated version of the Chronicle which Cooper denounced, he issued an expanded and updated version in 1560 and 1565 that removed or altered most but not all of Crowley's changes and additions. In 1565 appeared the first edition of his greatest work, "Thesaurus Linguae Romanae et Britannicae", and this was followed by three other editions. Simon Winchesterin his book "The Meaning of Everything", gave the following glimpse into the creation of this important thesaurus::"The tiresome making of this book once exasperated the 'utterly profligate' Mrs. Cooper so much that she tossed the entire manuscript into the fire -- prompting her imperturbable husband simply to sigh wearily and begin compiling his book all over again." William Shakespeareis believed to have used Cooper's "Thesaurus" in the creation of his many poems and plays. (Evidence of this comes from a close statistical inspection of Shakespeare's word usage.)
Elizabeth I was greatly pleased with the "Thesaurus", generally known as "Cooper's Dictionary"; and its author, who had been ordained about 1559, was made dean of
Christ Church, Oxford, in 1567. Two years later he became dean of Gloucester, in 1571 bishop of Lincolnand in 1584 bishop of Winchester.
Cooper was a stout controversialist; he defended the practice and precept of the
Church of Englandagainst the Roman Catholicson the one hand and against the Martin Marprelatewritings and the Puritanson the other. He took some part, the exact extent of which is disputed, in the persecution of religious recusants in his diocese, and died at Winchester on 29 April 1594.
Cooper's "Admonition against Martin Marprelate" was reprinted in 1847, and his "Answer in Defence of the Truth against the Apology of Private Mass" in 1850.
Footnote: Mass Chief Justice Samuel Sewell's 2 vol diary mentions his extolling this Thomas Cooper as ancestor of his daughter's husband Rev William Cooper of Boston's Brattle Street Church (a son of Capt Thomas Cooper of Boston and Mehitable Minot, niece of Dep Gov Staunton... exceptthere are no reported sons of this Bishop Thomas Cooper). /s/ the pro
NAME= Cooper, Thomas
bishop, lexicographer, and writer
DATE OF BIRTH=c. 1517
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
DATE OF DEATH=
April 29 1594
PLACE OF DEATH=
Winchester, Hampshire, England
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