Sprat, Thomas

In Latin: Here lies Thomas Sprat, D.D., son of a clergyman, born in the county of Dorset, Fellow of Wadham College in Oxford. Whilst he was but a young poet he published several specimens of an extraordinary talent and learning; but soon leaving the Muses (however favourable to him), he resigned this glory to his Cowley, and chose rather to pursue the beauties of prose, in which study, being equally exercised and delighted, he made the earliest appearance amongst those who undertook to polish the English tongue. And transferred to his native language all the graces of the Greek and Roman eloquence, for which he was deservedly esteemed by men of the first character. He was soon made known to George, Duke of Buckingham, and by him to that nice judge of elegance, King Charles, who bestowed on him a prebendary in the churches of Westminster and Windsor: not long after, he was made Dean of this Church, and lastly Bishop of Rochester both which provinces he governed with the highest reputation. Both in his writings and common conversation, he expressed that urbanity which evidently showed him conversant with great men. He lived sweetly with all, and yet, though he appeared not in the least arrogant, always prevailed with authority. In dangerous as well as prosperous times, he stood constant in his fidelity to the Church and Monarchy, and by that means kindled the envy of wicked men who, by invented crimes, brought him in danger of his head. But being happily delivered from these troubles, his life afterwards flowed on with an even temperament, neither burdensome to himself nor his friends. At length, falling at once by full ripeness of age, he died with the same tranquillity that he lived, 20 May 1713, in the 77th year of his age. [Translation courtesy of Westminster Abbey website, adapted.]
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Year of death: 1713.
Age at death: 77 (classed as: ).