Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Deane, Thomas (1651-1735)

DEANE, THOMAS (1651–1735), catholic controversialist, son of Edward Deane of Malden, Kent, was born in 1651, entered University College, Oxford, 19 Oct. 1669, and subscribed the articles and took the oath of supremacy in the following month, when he was probably admitted a servitor. He graduated B.A. 1673, M.A. 1676. He became a tutor in the college, of which he was elected fellow 4 Dec. 1684. He ‘declared himself a papist much about the same time that his master, Obadiah Walker, did in March 1685, whose creature and convert he was’ (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iv. 450). After the landing of the Prince of Orange in England, he and John Massey, dean of Christ Church, withdrew privately from Oxford (30 Nov. 1688) to avoid the tumult of the mob, and came to London. Deane's fellowship was declared vacant 4 Feb. 1688–9. He was once or twice committed to prison in London on suspicion of being a jesuit or priest. On 18 Dec. 1691 he stood in the pillory at Charing Cross, under the name of Thomas Franks, a reputed jesuit, for concealing a libel or pamphlet against the government, written by a person who lodged in the same house as himself. During the latter part of his life Deane was a prisoner for debt in the Fleet; but he died at Malden on 10 Nov. 1735, having subsisted for some years mostly on charity (Gent. Mag. v. 681). He wrote—‘The Religion of Mar. Luther neither Catholick nor Protestant, Prov'd from his own Works. With some Reflections in Answer to the Vindication of Mar. Luther's Spirit, printed at the Theater in Oxon. His Vindication being another Argument of the Schism of the Church of England,’ Oxford, 1688, 4to, privately printed in Obadiah Walker's lodgings. Wood and his copyists confusedly describe this work as consisting of three separate tracts. The second part is a defence of Abraham Woodhead's ‘Discourse concerning the Spirit of Luther’ against an attack made upon it by Francis Atterbury, afterwards bishop of Rochester, in ‘An Answer to some Considerations on the Spirit of Martin Luther,’ 1687.

To Deane has been attributed ‘An Essay towards a Proposal for Catholick Communion,’ London, 1704 (Dodd, Certamen utriusque Ecclesiæ, p. 16), but the real author was probably Joshua Basset [q. v.]

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 1162, iv. 665; Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 462; Luttrell's Relation of State Affairs, ii. 315; MS. notes in ‘The Religion of Mar. Luther’ in Brit. Mus.; Gillow's Bibl. Dict. ii. 36; Jones's Popery Tracts, i. 198, 199.]

T. C.