Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Wilson, Thomas

Born: August 1523 – January 1524
Died: 20 May 1581, London
  • Jonathan WoolfsonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_544-1


Thomas Wilson was an English humanist, diplomat and administrator who rose to become an influential figure at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, culminating in his appointment as one of the queen’s principal secretaries. He was educated in the Protestant environment of mid-century Cambridge, and both his humanist commitments and anti-Catholicism were sharpened by the experience of exile in Padua and torture and imprisonment in Rome. He is the author of a number of works which are significant for their success in disseminating ancient learning in the English vernacular in the fields of logic and rhetoric, including The Arte of Rhetorique, first published in 1554.

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Primary Literature

  1. Demosthenes. 1570. The three Orations. Trans. Thomas Wilson. London: Henrie Denham.Google Scholar
  2. Wilson, Thomas. 1551. The rule of Reason, conteinyng the Arte of Logique set forth in Englishe. London: R. Grafton.Google Scholar
  3. Wilson, Thomas. 1982. Arte of rhetorique, ed. Thomas J. Derrick. New York: Garland Publishing.Google Scholar

Secondary Literature

  1. Blanshard, Alastair J.L., and Tracey A. Sowerby. 2005. Thomas Wilson’s Demosthenes and the politics of Tudor translation. International Journal of the Classical Tradition 12: 46–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Doran, Susan, and Jonathan Woolfson. 2004. Wilson, Thomas (1523/4–1581). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.  https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/29688.
  3. Lerer, Seth. 2001. An art of the emetic: Thomas Wilson and the rhetoric of parliament. Studies in Philology 98: 158–183.Google Scholar
  4. Mack, Peter. 2002. Elizabethan rhetoric: Theory and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Shrank, Cathy. 2004. Writing the nation in reformation England: Literature, humanism and English identities, 1530–1580. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Stern, Viriginia. 1979. Gabriel Harvey: His life, marginalia and library. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sotheby’s Institute of ArtLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marco Sgarbi
    • 1
  1. 1.University Ca' Foscari VeniceVeniceItaly