Proctor, Thomas (fl.1578) (DNB00)

PROCTOR, THOMAS (fl. 1578), poet, was the son of John Proctor [q. v.], first master of Tunbridge grammar school. He became free of the Stationers' Company on 17 Aug. 1584, having been apprenticed to John Allde (Arber, Transcript, ii. 692). He was editor or author of: 1. 'A gorgious Gallery of gallant Inventions. . . . First framed and fashioned in sundrie formes by divers worthy Workemen of late dayes, and now joyned together and builded up by T. P.,' London, 1578, 4to. This is the third of the series of poetical miscellanies which began with Tottell's in 1557. It is preceded by commendatory versus signed A. M. (Anthony Munday ?), and by an address by 'Owen Roydon to the curious company of Sycophantes.' The first poem of the 'Gallery' is signed by O. R., and then all the poems are unsigned till page 100 (Collier, Seven English Poetical Miscellanies, iii.), where the heading occurs of 'Pretie Pamphlets by T. Proctor.' The poem that follows is called 'Proctor's Precepts,' and in the remaining fifty-two pages the signature T. P. follows ten of the pieces. The longest poem in the volume is 'The History of Pyramus and Thisbie truely translated.' It is unsigned, and perhaps from an Italian original. It may well have been in Shakespeare's mind when he wrote the 'Midsummer Night's Dream.' Collier has conjectured that Owen Roydon was the original editor of the anthology, but died while it was in progress, leaving the work to Proctor. The book has been reprinted in Park's 'Heliconia,' 1815, vol. i., and in 'Three Collections of English Poetry of the Latter Part of the Sixteenth Century,' London, 1578–9, edited by Sir Henry Ellis for the Roxburghe Club; and in 'Seven English Poetical Miscellanies,' printed between 1557 and 1602, reproduced under the care of J. Payne Collier, London, 1877. 2. 'The Triumph of Trueth, manifesting the Advancement of Vertue and the Overthrow of Vice. Hereunto is added "Cæsars Triumph," the "Gretians Conquest," and the "Desert of Dives,"' published by T. P., 4to. These poems are not dated, and were perhaps printed for private circulation; Mr. C. W. Hazlitt assigns them to 1585. They have been reprinted by J. Payne Collier in 'Illustrations of Old English Literature,' London, 1866, vol. ii. tract 8. 3. 'Of the Knowledge and Conduct of Warres, two bookes, latelie written and sett foorthe, proffitable for suche as delight in histories, or martiall affayres, and necessarie for the present tyme,' 1578, 4to. This was licensed to Tuttell (Hazlitt, Coll. 3rd ser. p. 205).

It was probably another Thomas Proctor who was author of: 1. 'A Profitable Worke to this Whole Kingdome ... by Tho. Procter, Esqre,' 1610, 4to (Brit. Mus.) 2. 'The Right of Kings, conteyning a Defence of their Supremacy,' 1621, 4to. 3. 'The Righteous Man's Way . . .'1621, 4to.

[See the introductions and notes to the reprints quoted above; Arber's Transcript, ii. 313, 328; Hazlitt's Handbook and Collections, passim.]

R. B.