Henry Stubbe

(1632—1676) author and physician

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Henry Vane (1613—1662) politician and author

John Owen (1616—1683) theologian and Independent minister

Thomas Hobbes (1588—1679) philosopher

John Wallis (1616—1703) mathematician and cryptographer

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Henry Stubbe was born in Partney, Lincolnshire on 28 February 1632 and drowned near Bath en route to treat a patient on 12 July 1676. He was the son of the local rector who, however, was soon ejected from his living for his nonconformist religious views and moved with his family to Ireland. Following the outbreak of the civil war in Ireland, Stubbe was taken by his mother back to England, settling in London where her skill in needlework enabled her to send her son to Westminster School. A brilliant linguist, Stubbe attracted the attention of the headmaster, Richard Busby. He recommended him to Sir Henry Vane, who supported the lad and in 1649 sent him to Christ Church, Oxford. Stubbe graduated BA in 1653 – having already published some Latin verse as well as translations from the Greek — and then served for two years with the Parliamentary Army in Scotland. Returning to Oxford, Stubbe graduated MA in 1656 and the following year was appointed Deputy Keeper of the Bodleian Library thanks to the support of John Owen, Dean of Christ Church, whom Stubbe has assisted in polemics against the Presbyterians. By early 1656 Stubbe had also befriended Thomas Hobbes and vigorously championed his friend's cause at Oxford in Hobbes's bitter dispute with John Wallis, Savilian Professor of Geometry. Stubbe also began preparing a Latin translation of Leviathan, but the project came to naught. By 1658 Stubbe's crusade against Wallis had become more personal following the latter's contestable election as Keeper of the Archives. Stubbe vented his frustration in public but was forced to recant. Within a year, however, his adversaries were able to effect Stubbe's removal from the sub-librarianship of the Bodleian. Stubbe retaliated by publishing in June 1659 both his Sundry Things from Several Hands Concerning the University of Oxford – a biting raillery at the Oxford scientific club and certain members of Christ Church – and the far more sweeping attack on the universities in general and on the Presbyterians, A Light Shining out of Darknes.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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