Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Long, Thomas

967750Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 34 — Long, Thomas1893Bertha Porter

LONG, THOMAS (1621–1707), divine, son of 'Mr. Richard Lonng,' was born at Exeter, and baptised in the church of St. Lawrence on 14 Dec. 1621 (par. reg.) He became a servitor of Exeter College, Oxford, on 5 April 1639, and graduated B.A. on 29 Nov. 1642. He became in 1652 vicar of St. Lawrence Clyst, near Exeter, and, being a staunch churchman and royalist, he lay under a long sequestration during the troubles, upholding the interests of the king and the church by constant preaching and writing (Letter from Lamplugh, bishop of Exeter, to Sancroft, 16 April 1634, Tanner MSS. in Bodl. Libr. xxxii. f. 30). At the Restoration he was created B.D. of Oxford, by royal mandate, on 20 Sept. 1660, and prebendary of Exeter Cathedral on 18 Jan. 1660-1661. He resigned his prebend on 3 Oct. 1701. In 1684 he declined Bancroft's offer of the bishopric of Bristol on account, it is said, of his age and large family (Wood, Athenæ, ed. Bliss, iv. col. 485). But another authority (Willis, Survey of Cathedrals, ii. 781–2) represents him as 'scrupling it at first,' and having it denied him afterwards, 'when he would have accepted it.' His letter of refusal is among the Tanner MSS. xxxii. f. 25. He was proctor for the clergy of his diocese (Exeter) in convocation in 1689 (Long, Vox Cleri, p. 61), in 1693 (Long, Dr. Walker's account, epist. ded.), and in 1694 (Chamberlayne, Angliæ Notitia, 1694, p. 144). He died on 7 Dec. 1707, and was buried at St. Lawrence, Exeter, on 11 Dec. (par. reg.)

Long was well read in both ancient and modern literature, and was a voluminous controversial writer. Wood says of him that he 'hath also undergone that very toilsome drudgery of reading many or most of Mr. Richard Baxter's works.' Baxter complained of Long's 'Unreasonableness of Separation,' as being ' so fierce a book . . . that I never saw any like it' (Reliq. Baxter, pt. iii. p. 188). His 'Vox Cleri,' condemning alterations in the liturgy (of which two editions appeared in 1690),' called forth a mass of smaller writings, of which the principal was by Dr. William Payne (see Birch, Life of Tillotson, p. 210). He was firmly persuaded that Charles I was the author of the 'Eikon Basilike,' and in support of this view took part in the war of pamphlets which followed the publication of Walker's 'True Account of the Author' in 1692 [see Gauden, John].

His works (with the exception of No. 29 all published in London) include: 1. 'An Exercitation concerning the frequent use of our Lord's Prayer,' 1658. 2. 'Calvinus Redivivus,' 1673. 3. 'Apostolical Communion in the Church of England,' 1673. 4. 'The Picture and Character of a Separatist,' 1677. 5. 'History of the Donatists,' 1677. 6. 'Hales's Treatise of Schism examined and censured,' 1678 (see letter from Baxter to Long in Reliq. Baxter. App. v. p. 108). 7. ‘The Non-Conformist's Plea for Peace impleaded,’ 1680 (anon.). 8. ‘Sermon against Murmuring,’ 1680. 9. ‘The Unreasonableness of Separation. Second Part … Begun by Edward Stillingfleet, D.D. …’ 1682 (anon.; see R. Baxter's Penitent Confession, 1691). 10. ‘No Protestant, but the Dissenters Plot discovered and defeated,’ 1682. 11. ‘Vindication of the Primitive Christians,’ 1683. 12. ‘King David's Danger and Deliverance,’ 1683. 13. ‘Moses and the Royal Martyr Parallel'd,’ 1684. 14. ‘History of Joshua, applied to the case of Charles II,’ 1684. 15. ‘The Original of War,’ 1684. 16. ‘Compendious History of all the Popish and Fanatical Plots and Conspiracies against the established government in Church and State … from the first year of Queen Elizabeth to 1684,’ 1684. 17. ‘Unreasonableness of Rebellion,’ 1685. 18. ‘A Resolution of certain Queries concerning Submission to the Present Government,’ 1689. 19. ‘The Letter for Toleration (Locke's) Decyphered,’ 1689. 20. ‘Reflections upon … The Case of Allegiance consider'd,’ 1689 (anon.) 21. ‘A Full Answer to the Popular Objections … for not taking the Oath of Allegiance,’ 1689 (anon.). 22. ‘The Healing Attempt examined,’ 1689 (anon.). 23. ‘The Case of Persecution charged to the Church of England,’ 1689. 24. ‘The Historian Unmask'd’ (in reply to Seller's ‘History of Passive Obedience’), 1689 (anon.). 25. ‘Vox Cleri,’ 1690 (anon.). 26. ‘Answer to a Socinian Treatise called the Naked Gospel,’ 1691 [see Bury, Arthur]. 27. ‘Dr. Walker's Account of the Author of “Eikon Basilike” strictly examined and demonstrated to be false, impudent, and deceitful. In two parts, the first disproving it to be Dr. Gauden's; the second proving it to be King Charles the First's,’ 1693. 28. ‘Review of Richard Baxter's Life,’ 1697. 29. ‘Rebuke to Mr. Edmund Calamy,’ Exeter, 1704.

Confusion with his eldest son, Thomas Long the younger (1649–1707), has led Long to be erroneously described as a nonjuror, despite all that he published on the other side. The son, born early in 1649, was admitted a scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 30 Dec. 1664, proceeded B.A. on 1 Feb. 1667, M.A. 20 March 1670, and was fellow of his college in 1673. Like his father, he was a prebendary of Exeter (admitted 27 April 1681), and was collated to the rectory of Whimple in Devonshire in April 1676. In 1679 he was chaplain to Anthony Sparrow, bishop of Norwich, whose daughter Bridget he had married on 15 Aug. 1676. At the revolution he refused the oaths and was deprived (Lee, Kettlewell, App. p. xviii). He died in Exeter, and was buried at St. Lawrence on 28 July 1707, within a few months of his father. His widow lived till 1712, and, dying in Exeter, was buried at St. Lawrence on 9 Oct. Some letters of his are among the Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian Library.

[Authorities quoted in the text; Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), iv. cols. 485–8, where are descriptions of the contents of many of Long's books; Wood's Fasti (Bliss), ii. cols. 8, 231; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), i. 424–6; Chalmers's Biog. Dict.; Halkett and Laing's Dict. of Anon. and Pseudon. Literature; Cat. of Library of Sion College; Cat. of Library of Trin. Coll. Dublin; parish reg. of St. Lawrence, Exeter, communicated by the Rev. W. Everitt; Registers of C. C. C., Oxford, kindly supplied by the president; information from the Rev. J. Ingle Dredge.]

B. P.