Sprat, Thomas

(1635-1713)
   Born at Beaminster, Dorset, the son of a clergyman, he was educated at Wadham College, Oxford, earning a B.A. (1654), M.A. (1657), and D.D. (1669), and was a fellow at Wadham until 1670. Wadham was the meeting place for scientific study out of which grew the Royal Society, and of which Sprat was an active member; he wrote a History of the Royal Society of London (1667). Later in his career he was bishop of Rochester and dean of Westminster, and as such he directed Christopher Wren's restoration of the abbey. He assisted at the coronation of William and Mary (1689) and was a member of King James II's ecclesiastical commission (1688). He died of a stroke and was buried in the nave of Westminster Abbey. His other prose works are Observations Upon Monsieur de Sorbier's Voyage into England (1665) and Account of The Life of Mr. Abraham Cowley (1667). His poetic reputation was gained by his poem "To the Happie Memory of the Most Renowned Prince Oliver, Lord Protector" (1659). Three other poems are recorded: "On His Mistress Drown'd," "The Plague of Athens," "To the Happy Memory of the Late Usurper, Oliver Cromwell."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Love Poems. John Betjeman and Geoffrey Taylor, eds. Faber and Faber, 1957. English Poetry: Author Search. ChadwyckHealey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Samuel Johnson's Lives of the English Poets, 1779-1781 (http://www2.hn.psu.edu/Faculty/KKemmerer/poets/preface.htm). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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