THOMAS TANNER, Son of a wealthy Citizen of London, was born in the Parish of S. Matthew in Friday-street within that City, an. 1630, educated in Paul's School, and thence sent to Pembroke Hall in Cambridge, where he took the degree of Bach. of Arts. Afterwards going to Oxon when the Visitors appointed by Parl. sate there, he was incorporated in the said degree in Feb. 1650, and about that time was made one of the Fellows of New Coll. by the said Visitors. In less than two Years after he proceeded to Arts, having some time before had the degree of M. of A. conferr'd on him at Edinburgh in his rambles into Scotland, where the Doctors being taken with the forwardness, prettiness and conceitedness of the Youth, did confer on him that degree. In the beginning of May 1660 he was admitted the Sen. Proctor of the University, but being soon after ejected his Fellowship of New Coll. by the King's Commissioners, to make room for that Person, whose Bread he had eaten for 10 Years, he removed to Hart Hall, where he continued till his Proctorship was terminated: by which Office he and his Brother Proctor were great gainers by the many Creations in several degrees that Year made. Afterwards he retired to Greys Inn, of which he was about that time a Barrister, and having consumed a considerable part of the Estate left him by his relations, travelled beyond the Seas, was at Rome, and in Flanders he served in the Wars as a Volunteer for one Summer. After his return, having by that time but little left, he took holy Orders, threw himself upon the Church (a usual thing with Bankrupts) became Minister of Colleton in Devon. and of another Church in Somersetshire: Both which he kept for some Years, but having an unsettled Head, he got himself to be made Chaplain to Dr. Morley Bishop of Winchester, who giving to him the Rectory of Brixton or Brightstone in the Isle of Wight, he settled there for a time: But the air agreeing not with his constitution, Mr. James Rudyerd presented him to Winchfield in Hampshire: so that being thereby incapacitated to hold Brixton with it, he changed Brixton for North Waltham near to Basingstoke in the same County, both which he kept together for about three Years and then finished his course, occasion'd sooner, than otherwise it might have been, by too much drudging at his study to carry on the duties required of him. He hath written and published,
The Entrance of Mazzarini. Or, some Memorials of the State of France between the Death of the Cardinal of Richlieu, and the Beginning of the late Regency. Oxon. 1657. oct. But his contemporaries then in the university, knowing him to be too forward and conceited, did generally report that he was not the author of the said book, but another man's plagiary. Whereupon he came out with another part entit.
The Entrance of Mazzarini, continued through the first Years Regency of Anna Maria of Austria, Qu. Dowager of France, and Mother of the present Monarch Louis XIV. &c. Oxon. 1658. oct. And in the epistle before it to the reader, he saith that he was only a divulger of things that were before public in other languages, intimating that this, as the former book, were rather translations from, or collections out of, other authors, than barely his own compositions.
Euphuia, or the Acts and Characters of Good Nature. Lond. 1665. oct. After writing of this book the author entred into holy orders and afterwards published,
Several sermons, as (1) A Call to the Shulamite, or to the scatter'd and divided Members of the Church; on Cantic. 6. 13. Lond. 1673. qu. (2) Wisdom and Prudence exhibited, preached before L. Ch. Justice Rainsford and L. Ch. Just. North, in their late Western Circuit; on Prov. 8. 12. Lond. 1677. qu.
Primordia: or, the Use and Growth of the first Church of God described. Lond. 1683. oct. To which are added Two Letters of James Rudyerd Esq; written to our author Tanner: One about The Multiplying of Mankind till the Flood, the other concerning The Multiplying of Children of Egypt. He died in the Month of Octob. in sixteen hundred eighty and two, and was buried in the Church at Winchfield before-mention'd, leaving then behind him in the hands of Elizabeth his Widow, the second part of Primordia in manuscript.