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Thomas Traherne
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Birth:  1637
Herefordshire, England
Death:  Oct. 3, 1674
Greater London, England

Thomas Traherne 1637 - 1674 poet, writer and mystic, the son of a Hereford shoemaker. Thomas was to eventually supply Almshouses to Hereford. He longed to discover what he called an 'unknown happiness'. His was the life of a spiritual being forced as he put it, to learn the dirty devices of the world. He graduated in BA, MA and BD from Brasenose College Oxford, initially entering aged sixteen. About his education, he spoke of 'Glorious Secrets, and Glorious Persons past Imagination'. He talked of ‘those Truths you Love, without Knowing them'. He said ‘I would be Disentangled from all the World, but God alone, Free to Suffer & to follow Vertue' and gave this as his reason never to marry. Thomas Traherne was found to be a man of cheerful good temper, prepared to help others 'almost beyond his ability'. He actually spent his whole life as rector of Credenhill, herefordshire, yet it is his few months in Teddington that we remember. As late as 15th January 1674, he arrived to become domestic chaplain to Sir Orlando Bridgeman, possibly a surprising appointment for him to accept, as Bridgeman was sympathetic to non-conformists, whilst Traherne had orthodox ideals. Still, he must have balanced allegiancies to Crown and Parliament in order to have had an education and to have survived in office. On reaching Teddington, Thomas witnessed the will of Sir Orlando - just as well, as the latter died on 25th June. By September, Traherne himself was ill, and he is believed to have died on 3rd October. He was buried on the 10th, at St Mary's Church, under the reading desk, at the entry to the chancel but with 'no stone laid over him'. His book 'Christian Ethicks' was published after his death, but not widely read. His reputation as a poet and writer dates from the 20th Century, and begun in surprising circumstances, with two books being bought from barrows in the street. Decades later, another, ‘Commentaries of heaven', was removed, charred, from a burning rubbish tip! Eventually, towards the end of the century, more and more writings in libraries were realised to be his. Lambeth Palace threw up 'Inducements to retiredness', ‘A sober view', ‘Seeds of eternity', ‘The kingdom of God', and a fragment on ‘Love'. 'Poems of Felicity' was found in the British Museum. ‘The ceremonial law' had been in the Folger Shakespeare Library since 1958, and was turned up in 1997.

Some sources claim that Thomas Traherne became Sir Orlando Bridgeman's domestic chaplain as early as 1667, round about the time that Bridgeman was made Keeper of the Seals, and that he lived and preached in London and Teddington from that time. Even Daniel Lysons recorded that Thomas was curate of Teddington, but other sources state not. 
St Mary Churchyard
Greater London, England
Created by: Kelvin Adams
Record added: Dec 30, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 46131284
Thomas Traherne
Added by: Kelvin Adams
Thomas Traherne
Added by: Kelvin Adams
Thomas Traherne
Added by: Kelvin Adams
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