Ward, Thomas (1652-1708) (DNB00)

WARD, THOMAS (1652–1708), controversialist, son of a farmer, was born at Danby Castle, near Guisborough, Yorkshire, on 13 April 1652, and educated at Pickering school. Afterwards he became tutor to the children of a gentleman of fortune. He had been brought up as a presbyterian or Calvinist, but his studies in theological controversy induced him to join the Roman catholic church. Subsequently he travelled in France and Italy. At Rome he accepted a commission in the pope's guards, and he remained in the service for five or six years, during which time he served in the maritime war against the Turks. In 1685 he returned to England. He took a leading part in the controversy of 1687–8, as a ‘Roman catholick soldier;’ but Dr. Tillotson believed he was really a jesuit in disguise, while Henry Wharton assured the public that the soldier was originally a Cambridge scholar, and had exchanged his black coat for a red one. He died in France in 1708, and was buried at St. Germain.

His works are: 1. ‘Speculum Ecclesiasticum; or, an ecclesiastical prospective glass, by T. Ward, a Roman Catholick Souldier,’ London [1686?], fol. Thomas Wharton wrote a reply to this. 2. ‘Some Queries to the Protestants, concerning the English Reformation. By T. W.,’ London, 1687, 4to. Dr. W. Clagett wrote a reply to this treatise. 3. ‘Monomachia; or a duel between Dr. Thomas Tenison, pastor of St. Martin's, and a Roman Catholick Souldier, wherein the “Speculum Ecclesiasticum” is defended,’ London, 1687, 4to. 4. ‘Errata to the Protestant Bible, or the Truth of the English Translations examined by T. W.,’ London, 1688, 4to; London, 1737, 4to; Dublin, 1807, 4to; Philadelphia, 1824, 8vo. This book is based on Gregory Martin's ‘Discouerie of the manifold corruptions of the Holy Scriptures by the heretiques of our daies,’ published at Rheims in 1582. The republication of the ‘Errata’ in Dublin, in 1807, with the sanction of the Irish bishops, elicited two answers, viz. ‘An Analysis of Ward's “Errata,”’ by Richard Ryan, D.D. (1808), and ‘An Answer to Ward's “Errata,”’ by Richard Grier, D.D. (1812). The work was again reprinted with a preface by Dr. Lingard in 1810, and also in 1841 with Lingard's preface, and a ‘Vindication’ by Bishop Milner in answer to Grier's ‘Reply.’ 5. ‘The Roman Catholic Soldier's Letter to Dr. Thomas Tenison,’ London, 1688. Tenison replied to this. Posthumous were: 6. ‘The Controversy of Ordination truly stated; as far as it concerns the Church of England as by law establish'd,’ London, 1719, 8vo. This was answered by David Williams in the ‘Succession of Protestant Bishops asserted,’ 1721, and by Thomas Elrington, afterwards bishop of Leighlin and Ferns, in the ‘Clergy of the Church of England truly ordained,’ 1808. 7. ‘England's Reformation (from the time of K. Henry VIII to the end of Oates's Plot): a Poem, in four cantos,’ Hamburg, 1710, 4to; London, 1715, 2 vols. 12mo; again 1716, 1719, and 1747. This Hudibrastic poem has passed through several other editions. 8. ‘An interesting Controversy with Mr. Ritschel, vicar of Hexham,’ published at Manchester, from Ward's manuscript, in 1819, 8vo. 9. ‘A Short Explanation of the Divine Office or Canonicall Hours,’ also ‘The Generall Rubricks of the Breviary or Directions how to say the Divine Office,’ Addit. MS. 28332. Ward is also said to have left in manuscript ‘A Confutation of Dr. Burnet's Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles’ and ‘A History of England.’

[Life prefixed to his Controversy with Ritschel (1819); Schroeder's Annals of Yorkshire, ii. 333; Catholicon, iv. 195; Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 459; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. i. 331 n.; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn); D'Oyley's Life of Archbishop Sancroft, ii. 121; Kennett's Life, p. 145; Bibl. Anglo-Poetica, p. 422; Horne's Introd. to the Study of the Scriptures; Cotton's Rhemes and Doway; Retrospective Review, iii. 329; Lingard's Hist. of England (1849), x. 226; Jones's Popery Tracts.]

T. C.