Spark, Thomas (DNB00)


SPARK, THOMAS, D.D. (1655–1692), classical scholar, born in 1655, was son of Archibald Spark, minister of Northop, Flintshire. He was admitted into Westminster school in 1668, and was elected in 1672 to a scholarship at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. in 1676 and M.A. in 1679. He became chaplain to Sir George (afterwards Lord) Jeffreys [q. v.], to whom he owed his advancement in the church. On 18 Nov. 1682 he delivered the oration on Sir Thomas Bodley, being the first person nominated to a benefaction left for that purpose by Dr. John Morris (1594–1648), canon of Christ Church (Walker, Letters written by Eminent Persons, ii. 112). He was admitted to the prebend of Offley in the church of Lichfield, 9 April 1686. He graduated B.D. 18 Feb. 1687–8, and was created D.D. 8 July 1691. He was instituted to the rectory of Ewhurst, Surrey, 1 March 1687–8, and he also obtained the rectory of Hog's Norton, Leicestershire. On 2 June 1688 he was admitted to a prebend in the church of Rochester. He died on 7 Sept. 1692 at Bath, whither he had gone to drink the waters, and was buried in the abbey church. Wood, while characterising him as a learned man, says he was ‘confident and forward without measure,’ and given to ‘excesses and too much agitation in obtaining spiritualities.’

His works are: 1. ‘Zosimi Comitis et Ex-advocati Fisci Historiæ novæ libri sex, notis illustrati,’ Greek and Latin, Oxford, 1679, 8vo; dedicated to his former master, Dr. Richard Busby [q. v.] An English translation appeared in London, 1684, 8vo. 2. ‘Lucii Cœlii Lactantii Firmiani Opera quæ extant, ad fidem MSS. recognita et Commentario illustrata,’ Oxford, 1684, 8vo.

He was also the author of two sets of Latin verses in the ‘Musæ Anglicanæ’—one on the recasting of the ‘Great Tom’ of Christ Church—and he contributed to the collection of poems, published at Oxford in 1685, on the death of Charles II.

[Brüggemann's Engl. Editions of Greek and Latin Authors, pp. 435, 733; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714, iv. 1394; Hearne's Remarks and Collections, ii. 71; Le Neve's Fasti, ed. Hardy, i. 617, ii. 582; Manning and Bray's Surrey, i. 504; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser iv. 151, 215; Welch's Alumni Westmon. ed. Phillimore, pp. 161, 165, 172; Willis's Cathedral Surveys, ii. 454; Wood's Life, ed. Bliss, p. 96; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. iv. 368, and Fasti, ii. 353, 369, 401.]

T. C.