He also wrote and prepared for publication a work on English rhetoric, but it does not appear to have been printed.
[Information kindly supplied by the master of Clare College; the English Parnassus; Addit. MS. 24491, f. 325.]
POOLE, MARIA (1770?–1833), vocalist. [See Dickons.]
POOLE or POLE, MATTHEW (1624–1679), biblical commentator, son of Francis Pole, was born at York in 1624. His father was descended from the Poles or Pools of Spinkhill, Derbyshire; his mother was a daughter of Alderman Toppins of York. He was admitted at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, on 2 July 1645, his tutor being John Worthington, D.D. Having graduated B.A. at the beginning of 1649, he succeeded Anthony Tuckney, D.D., in the sequestered rectory of St. Michael-le-Querne, then in the fifth classis of the London province, under the parliamentary presbyterianism. This was his only preferment. He proceeded M.A. in 1652. Two years later he published a small tract against John Biddle [q. v.] On 14 July 1657 he was one of eleven Cambridge graduates incorporated M.A. at Oxford on occasion of the visit of Richard Cromwell as chancellor.
In 1658 Poole published a scheme for a permanent fund out of which young men of promise were to be maintained during their university course, with a view to the ministry. The plan was approved by Worthington and Tuckney, and had the support also of John Arrowsmith, D.D. [q. v.], Ralph Cudworth [q. v.], William Dillingham, D.D. [q. v.], and Benjamin Whichcote. About 900l. was raised, and it appears that William Sherlock, afterwards dean of St. Paul's, received assistance from this fund during his studies at Peterhouse, Cambridge, till 1660, when he graduated B.A. The Restoration brought the scheme to an end.
Poole was a jure divino presbyterian, and an authorised defender of the views on ordination of the London provincial assembly, as formulated by William Blackmore [q. v.] Subsequently to the Restoration, in a sermon (26 Aug. 1660) before the lord mayor (Sir Thomas Aleyn) at St. Paul's, he endeavoured to make a stand for simplicity of public worship, especially deprecating ‘curiosity of voice and musical sounds in churches.’ On the passing of the Uniformity Act (1662) he resigned his living, and was succeeded by R. Booker on 29 Aug. 1662. His ‘Vox Clamantis’ gives his view of the ecclesiastical situation. Though he occasionally preached and printed a few tracts, he made no attempt to gather a congregation. He had a patrimony of 100l. a year, on which he lived. He was one of those who presented to the king ‘a cautious and moderate thanksgiving’ for the indulgence of 15 March 1672, and hence were offered royal bounty. Burnet reports, on Stillingfleet's authority, that Poole received for two years a pension of 50l. Early in 1675 he entered with Baxter into a negotiation for comprehension, promoted by Tillotson, which came to nothing. According to Henry Sampson, M.D. [q. v.], Poole ‘first set on foot’ the provision for a nonconformist ministry and day-school at Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
On the suggestion of William Lloyd (1627–1717) [q. v.], ultimately bishop of Worcester, Poole undertook the great work of his life, the ‘Synopsis’ of the critical labours of biblical commentators. He began the compilation in 1666, and laboured at it for ten years. His plan was to rise at three or four in the morning, take a raw egg at eight or nine, and another at twelve, and continue at his studies till late in the afternoon. The evening he spent at some friend's house, very frequently that of Henry Ashurst [q. v.], where ‘he would be exceedingly but innocently merry,’ although he always ended the day in ‘grave and serious discourse,’ which he ushered in with the words, ‘Now let us call for a reckoning.’ The prospectus of Poole's work bore the names of eight bishops (headed by Morley and Hacket) and five continental scholars, besides other divines. Simon Patrick (1626–1707) [q. v.], Tillotson, and Stillingfleet, with four laymen, acted as trustees of the subscription money. A patent for the work was obtained on 14 Oct. 1667. The first volume was ready for the press, when difficulties were raised by Cornelius Bee, publisher of the ‘Critici Sacri’ (1660, fol., nine vols.), who accused Poole of invading his patent, both by citing authors reprinted in his collection, and by injuring his prospective sales. Poole had offered Bee a fourth share in the property of the ‘Synopsis,’ but this was declined. After pamphlets had been written and legal opinions taken, the matter was referred to Henry Pierrepont, marquis of Dorchester [q. v.], and Arthur Annesley, first earl of Anglesey [q. v.], who decided in Poole's favour. Bee's name appears (1669) among the publishers of the ‘Synopsis,’ which was to have been completed in three folio volumes, but ran to five. Four thousand copies were printed, and quickly disposed of. The merit of Poole's work depends partly on its wide range, as a compendium of contributions to textual interpretation, partly on the rare skill