Reverend Thomas Bastard (1565/1566 – April 19, 1618) was an English clergyman
famed for his published English language epigrams.
Forum, Dorset, England, Bastard is
best known for seven books of 285 epigrams entitled
Chrestoleros published in 1598.
initially attended Winchester College. Subsequently he began studying at New College,
Oxford on (August 27, 1586).
By 1588, he was assigned as a perpetual
Fellow of New College. Though later expelled from his Fellowship,
Bastard still received a BA
1590, and an MA
later in 1606.
became notorious for libelling the sexual doings of various
Oxford clergy and academics via a published tract entitled
An Admonition to the city of Oxford, &c.
Despite disavowing authorship, he was nonetheless expelled from his
Oxford fellowship in 1591.
maintained a few supporters and admirers, primarily, Sir Charles Blount, Lord
Mountjoy who appointed him as a chaplain, and Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of
Suffolk who appointed him vicar of
Regis and later, in 1606, Rector of Almer in
Bastard was married three times. He died impoverished in the debtor's prison at Allhallows parish,
Dorchester, and was buried in parish churchyard.
Prior to Bastard's death, admirer Sir John Harrington
said in a
- "To Master Bastard, a minister, that made a pleasant Book of
- :You must in pulpit treat of matters serious;
- :As it beseems the person and the place;
- :There preach of faith, repentance, hope, and grace;
- :Of sacraments, and such high things mysterious:
- :But they are too severe, and too imperious,
- :That unto honest sports will grant no space.
- :For these our minds refresh, those weary us,
- :And spur out doubled spirit to swifter pace."
- "Bastard, Thomas" in S. Austin Allibone. A Critical
Dictionary of English Literature and British and American Authors
Living and Deceased from the Earliest Accounts to the Latter Half
of the Nineteenth Century. J.B. Lippincott Company,
Philadelphia, London, c1886, p. 139.
- "Bastard, Thomas" in Oxford Dictionary of
National Biography in Association with the British Academy:
from the Earliest Times to the Year 2000. Oxford University Press, Oxford
(England), New York, c2004, p. 281 (ISBN 0-19-861411-X),