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George Abbot

For the man who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1611 to 1633, see Archbishop George Abbot

George Abbot (1603?-1648), English writer, known as "The Puritan", has been oddly and persistently mistaken for others. He has been described as a clergyman, which he never was, and as son of Sir Morris (or Maurice) Abbot, and his writings accordingly entered in the bibliographical authorities as by the nephew of the archbishop of Canterbury. One of the sons of Sir Morris Abbot was, indeed, named George, and he was a man of mark, but the more famous George Abbot was of a different family altogether. He was son or grandson (it is not clear which) of Sir Thomas Abbot, knight of Easington, East Yorkshire, having been born there in 1603-1604, his mother (or grandmother) being of the ancient house of Pickering. Of his early life and training nothing is known. He married a daughter of Colonel Purefoy of Caldecote, Warwickshire, and as his monument, which may still be seen in the church there, tells, he bravely held the manor house against Princes Rupert and Maurice during the civil war. As a layman, and nevertheless a theologian and scholar of rare ripeness and critical ability, he holds an almost unique place in the literature of the period. The terseness of his Whole Booke of Job Paraphrased, or made easy for any to understand (1640, quartto), contrasts favourably with the usual prolixity of the Puritan expositors and commentators. His Vindiciae Sabbathi (1641, octavo) had a profound and lasting influence in the long Sabbatarian controversy. His Brief Notes upon the Whole Book of Psalms (1651, quarto), as its date shows, was posthumous. He died on the 2nd of February 1648.

Authorities--MS.collections at Abbeyville for history of all of the name of Abbot, by J.T. Abbot, Esq., F.S.A., Darlington; Dugdale's Antiquities of Warwickshire, 1730 p. 1099; Wood's Athenae (Bliss), ii.141, 594; Cox's Literature of the Sabbath.

From Gutenberg Encyclopedia (1911)