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William Cave (30 December, 1637 - 4 July, 1713) was an English divine.

Cave was born at Pickwellmarker, Leicestershiremarker. He was educated at St. John's Collegemarker, Cambridgemarker, and successively held the livings of Islingtonmarker (1662), of All-Hallows the Greatmarker, Upper Thames Street, Londonmarker (1679), and of Isleworthmarker in Middlesexmarker (1690). Cave was chaplain to Charles II, and in 1684 became a canon of Windsor, Berkshiremarker, where he died.


The two works on which his reputation principally rests are the Apostolici, or History of Apostles and Fathers in the first three centuries of the Church (1677), and Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Historia Literaria (1688). One of the best editions of the latter is the Clarendon Press, 1740-1743, which contains additions by the author and others. In both works he was drawn into controversy with Jean Leclerc, who was then writing his Bibliothèque universelle et historique, and who accused him of partiality. He wrote several other works of the same nature which exhibit scholarly research and lucid arrangement. He is said to have been a good talker and an eloquent preacher.

  • Primitive Christianity: or, the Religion of the ancient Christians in the first Ages of the Gospel, 2 volumes, 1672
  • Tabulae Ecclesiasticae, 1674
  • Antiquitates Apostolicae: or, the lives, acts and martyrdom of the Holy Apostles, 1675
  • Apostolici: or, the History of the lives, acts, death and martyrdoms of those, wo were contemporary with or immediately succeeded the Apostles, 1677
  • A Dissertation concerning the Government of the Ancient Church by Bishops, Metropolitans and Patriarchs 1683
  • Ecclesiastici: or, the History of the lives, acts, death and writings of the most eminent Fathers of the Church, 1683
  • Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Historia Literaria a Christo nato usque ad saeculum XIV, 2 volumes, 1688/98


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