Thomas Fuller’s father, of the same name, was the rector of Aldwinkle parish; the writer’s mother was Judith Davenant, a sister of John Davenant, who became the bishop of Salisbury. Most of Fuller’s early education came from his father. At the age of thirteen the boy entered Queen’s College, Cambridge, where his uncle, soon to become a bishop, was president of the college and Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity. Later Fuller went to Sidney Sussex College, taking his A.B. in 1625 and an M.A. in 1628. In 1630 he became an Anglican priest and obtained the curacy of St. Benet’s Church, in Cambridge. A year later he was appointed by his uncle, now bishop of Salisbury, to the prebend of Netherbury in Ecclesia in Salisbury. In 1634 Fuller resigned his curacy at Cambridge to become the rector at Broadwindsor, in Dorsetshire. He took his B.D. at Cambridge in 1635 and in 1638 married a woman of unknown family. His first historical writing, The Historie of the Holy Warre, appeared in 1639 and was, according to contemporary reports, popular for many years.
In 1640 Fuller was elected to the convocation that proposed strong action against reformers in the Church, although he personally disapproved of the recommended severity. His first wife died in 1641, about the time he gave up his prebend and his living at Broadwindsor. Moving to London, he preached at the Inns of Court and became curate at the Savoy. He was a popular preacher even though he...
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