Thomas Greaves 1611-1676

From Book Owners Online

Thomas GREAVES 1611-1676

Biographical Note

Born at Colmer, Hampshire, son of John Greaves, rector and schoolmaster there. BA Corpus Christi College, Oxford 1631, MA 1634, fellow 1636, DD 1660. He was a close friend of Edward Pococke, his contemporary at Corpus, who taught him oriental languages, and was deputy Arabic lecturer at Oxford 1637-41. Rector of Dunsby, Lincolnshire 1638, and of Minton 1642; he stayed in Oxford until ejected from his fellowship in 1648, when he moved to Lincolnshire. During the Interregnum he became one of the contributors to Walton's Polyglot Bible project. He was made rector of North Church Berkhampstead, Hampshire in 1660, of Benefield, Northamptonshire in 1664 and a prebendary of Peterborough Cathedral in 1666.


Although he left various manuscript works and some publications, and is noted as lamenting his exile from books in the Lincolnshire marshes, the view of ODNB is that he was "neither a profound nor an assiduous student of Arabic and Persian". He inherited a collection of oriental manuscripts from his brother John in 1652, and sold most of them to John Selden shortly afterwards. In his will, he bequeathed to his son John "all my books, printed and manuscript, with all my papers". In 1678, John sold 55 of these manuscripts and printed books to the Bodleian Library for £55, including 43 volumes of manuscripts collections compiled by Richard James (d.1638), largely on medieval English history.