Bowes, Thomas (DNB00)

BOWES, THOMAS (fl. 1586), translated into English the first and second parts of the 'French Academy,' a moral and philosophical treatise written by Peter of Primaudaye, a French writer of the latter half of the sixteenth century. The translation of the first part was published in 1586, and seems to have met with immediate popularity, for a fifth edition was issued in 1614. Along with the third edition in 1594 was published the translation of the second part. To both parts Bowes prefixes a letter to the reader, and in the longer of the two, prefixed to the second part, J. Payne Collier detects allusions to Marlowe, Greene, and Nash. The allusion to Marlowe can scarcely be maintained if the second part appeared for the first time in the 1594 edition; for Marlowe, who, if indeed he is meant, is alluded to as living, died in 1593. Bowes is denouncing the prevalence of atheistic and licentious literature, and after giving as an instance Ligneroles, a French atheist, goes on to quote from English imitators, but gives no names. He ends by denouncing lying romances about Arthur and Huon of Bordeaux. J. Payne Collier, in the 'Poetical Decameron,' discusses the whole passage. There is an edition of the third part of the 'Academy,' englished by R. Dolman, published in 1601. Strype mentions a certain Thomas Bowes, M.A., of Queens' College, Cambridge, whom some have identified with the translator.

[Brit. Mus. Catalogue; Collier's Poetical Decameron, ii. 271; Collier's Extracts from Registers of Stationers' Company, ii. 198; Strype's Annales Reform, iii. 1, 645, Oxford, 1824; Nouvelle Biographie Grenerale, xxix. n. article ' La Primaudaye.']

R. B.