Richard ‘Dutch’ Thomson, c. 1569-1613

The Life and Letters of a Renaissance Scholar


Author: Paul Botley
Richard ‘Dutch’ Thomson (d. 1613), best known today as a Bible translator and one of the earliest English Arminians, was admired in his own day for his learning. This book provides the first biography of Thomson. It maps his connections with his contemporaries, reconstructs his reading, and edits his surviving correspondence, some seventy-eight letters. Thomson moved among the greatest scholars of his day, and was good friends with Joseph Scaliger and Isaac Casaubon. He travelled in Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries, became a member of five universities, and worked with manuscripts in the libraries in England, Florence, Geneva, Heidelberg and Leiden. Modern scholarship, working within national boundaries, has tended to see only a part of the whole picture.

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Paul Botley, Ph.D. (2000), University of Cambridge, teaches Renaissance literature at the University of Warwick. He has published monographs on Latin translation (2004) and Greek studies (2010) in Renaissance Europe, and co-edited the letters of Joseph Scaliger (8 vols, 2012).
“Botley’s heroic effort to trace Thomson has produced a valuable resource for research on many topics, for this multilingual, well-educated, English-Dutch son of a Protestant merchant was committed to advancing classical learning in an international circle of acquaintances and friends that included some of the best scholars of his day.”
Judith Rice Henderson, University of Saskatchewan. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (Winter 2017), pp. 1483-1485.

PART 1 Thomson’s Life
1 Early Life
2 Cambridge, 1583–1587
3 Germany, 1587
4 Leiden, 1588–1591?
5 England, 1591–May 1592
6 Germany, May 1592–April 1593
7 Geneva, April–August 1593
8 Frankfurt, September 1593
9 Leiden, December 1593–May 1594
10 Stade, May 1594
11 England, June 1594–August? 1596
12 Geneva, October? 1596–April 1597
13 Italy, April 1597–April 1599
14 Paris, July 1599
15 Augsburg, Autumn 1599?
16 England, from December 1599
17 Reading Casaubon on Athenaeus
18 Richard Mountague
19 Visitors to Cambridge
20 The Lexicon of Photius
21 Johannes de Laet, 1603–1606
22 Petrus Scriverius’ Lost Edition of Martial, 1602–1605
23 Thomson’s Hebrew
24 Bringing Casaubon to England, 1607–1610
25 Thomson’s Elenchus, 1611
26 Final Years and Death
27 Thomson’s Legacy: The Diatriba, 1616
28 Thomson’s Posthumous Reputation
29 Conclusion

PART 2 Thomson’s Letters
The Letters
Editorial Principles and Conventions
The Text and Apparatus
Inventory of the Correspondence
List of Correspondents
The Letters

Appendix 1: Thomson’s Poetry
Appendix 2: Thomson’s Library
All interested in the history of scholarship, the reception of Latin, Greek and Hebrew literature, European networks of correspondence, and confessional controversy in Renaissance Europe.