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

LUDLAM, THOMAS (1727–1811), theologian and essayist, born at Leicester in 1727, was younger brother of William Ludlam [q. v.] He graduated B.A. at St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1748, spent some time as chaplain in the navy (he was on 31 May 1750 appointed chaplain to the Prince Henry, ‘Admiralty Minute Books’ at Record Office), and proceeded M.A. in 1752. He was appointed by the assistance of John Jackson (1686–1763) [q. v.] confrater of Wigston's Hospital, Leicester, in 1760, and in 1791 rector of Foston, Leicestershire. He died at Leicester on 13 Nov. 1811.

Ludlam attacked the Calvinistic writers of his day in the ‘Orthodox Churchman's Review.’ He was a disciple of Locke, and applied Locke's principles to religious discussion. His knowledge of scripture was sound, and his interpretation of it clear and discriminating. Bishop Hurd, on seeing his first essay, caused his second to be printed at his own expense. His brother William held unpopular views on the Holy Spirit, and Thomas supported them in his ‘Four Essays’ ‘with an unexampled self-sufficiency, arrogance, and contempt of others’ ({{sc|Dr. Isaac Milner's} Pref. to Joseph Milner's Sermons, 1804, i. 102). He was always peculiarly trenchant and disdainful in his treatment of adversaries. Milner charges him with ‘treating men as fanatics, enthusiasts, and rejecters of reason, or as sly, artful, and designing characters, because they venture to think for themselves in religious matters.’ In character he was charitable and pious.

Ludlam wrote: 1. ‘Logical Tracts on Locke,’ Cambridge [1790], 8vo; vindicating Locke against Milner, Horne, and others. 2. ‘Four Essays on the Holy Spirit,’ London, 1797, 8vo. 3. ‘Six Essays upon Theological, to which are added two upon Moral, Subjects,’ London, 1798, 8vo. Most of these essays are included in ‘Essays, Scriptural, Moral, and Logical,’ by William and Thomas Ludlam, 1807, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1809.

[Ludlam's Essays; Ann. Reg. 1811, p. 166; Gent. Mag. 1807 pt. ii. p. 1144, 1797 pt. ii. p. 957 (his essays reviewed by Gough), and 1811 pt. ii. p. 492; Nichols's Lit. Illust. v. 347, vi. 257; Nichols's Hist. of Leicestershire, i. 318, 503, 509; Baker's Hist. St. John's Coll., ed. Mayor, ii. 855; Kilvert's Life of Hurd, p. 156; Cradock's Memoirs, i. 3, iv. 84, 88; Milner's Life of Isaac Milner, pp. 54, 246–7.]

M. G. W.