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CROSBY, THOMAS (fl. 1740), author of ‘History of the Baptists,’ resided at Horselydown, where he kept a mathematical and commercial school. He was a deacon, and not as generally supposed the minister, of the baptist church at that place. He supplied Neal with much of the information regarding the baptists in the ‘History of the Puritans.’ He died subsequently to 1749, in which year his last work, ‘The Book-keeper's Guide,’ was published. His ‘History of the English Baptists, from the Reformation to the beginning of the reign of George I’ (1738–40, 4 vols. 8vo), is very valuable on account of the biographical notices of the earlier baptist ministers it contains, but in other respects it is almost useless by the studious disregard the author showed as to distinguishing the many and widely differing sections of the baptist body, which renders it never clear and frequently misleading. The work gave considerable offence to the baptists when it appeared, and subsequent historians of that sect have usually avoided giving the work as an authority. As a mere reciter of events Crosby is trustworthy. Most of the materials used were collected by Benjamin Stinton, a baptist minister (d. 1718), who had intended to write a history. Crosby also wrote ‘A Brief Reply to Mr. John Lewis's History of the Rise and Progress of Anabaptism in England,’ 1738.

[Crosby's Works; Wilson's Hist. Dissent. Churches (vols. iii. iv.); Watt's Bibl. Brit.]

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