• Coleborne, Bryan. "Parnell, Thomas (1679–1718)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Oxford: OUP, 2004.

Born in London on July 24, 1725, John Newton joined the merchant marine as a youth and had many adventures, including harsh service to a slave-trader. Rescued from this, and while returning home, Newton underwent a sudden religious conversion in March 1748 as he steered the ship through a storm. In England he married a childhood sweetheart, Mary Catlett, educated himself in classical and eastern languages, joined the evangelical movement, and yet continued to captain slave-ships until 1754, when illness turned him to ministering. His autobiography, The Authentic Narrative (1764), was published the year he became a priest in the Church of England and was appointed to Olney, Buckinghamshire. There his dramatic preaching earned him large audiences, among whom was the poet William Cowper, and they became close friends. They jointly authored Olney Hymns in 1779 (280 hymns by Newton, and 68 by Cowper), many works from which still remain popular today. Later Newton took over the church of St. Mary Woolnoth in London. Throughout his life he fearlessly dwelt on both his sins and his love for Mary, who predeceased him in 1790. He died on December 21, 1807, and they were buried together at St. Mary Woolnoth.

Index to poems

John Henry Newman converted from the Church of England to Roman Catholicism in 1845 and was ordained in Rome the next year. His Apologia pro Vita Sua (1864), The Grammar of Assent (1870), and The Idea of a University (1873) are important treatises in nineteenth-century English thought. Besides his religious poetry, Newman also published two novels, Loss and Gain (1848) and Callista (1856). He was named Cardinal in 1879 and declared Venerable in 1991 by Pope John Paul II.

  • Ker, Ian. John Henry Newman: A Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1988.
  • Ker, Ian. "Newman, John Henry (1801-1890)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004.
  • Newman, John Henry. Works. 36 vols. London: Longmans, Green, 1868–81.

Herbert's poems were first published shortly after his death, in The Temple, Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations by Mr. George Herbert, 1633. Some of them had already circulated in MS. His poems are so full of biblical echoes or quotations, and his images so often liturgical, that only full annotation (rather than mere reference) can properly bring out his indebtedness.

  • Faulkner, Thomas C.. “Crabbe, George (1754-1832).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004.

John Bunyan was born at Elstow, near Bedford, and baptized Nov. 30, 1628, the son of a tinker, and like his father a tinker. He joined joined the parliamentary forces in the English civil war in 1644. On leaving, he married in 1646 a pious woman whose only dowry was two books, The Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven and Lewis Bayly's The Practice of Piety. They had four children. In 1657 Bunyan joined the Baptist church and became an unlicensed preacher. For refusing to conform, he was jailed from 1660 to 1672. During his Imprisonment he wrote and in 1666 published both Grace Abounding, one Of the best autobiographies ever produced, and The Holy City. Released in 1672, licensed at last for preaching, Bunyan was again imprisoned for six months in 1675. Afterwards he turned to write The Pilgrim's Progress (1678), the best-read book in English until the twentieth century. Other books follows: Life and Death of Mr. Badman (1680), The Holy War (1682), and The Pilgrim's Progress, part 2 (1684). He died of complications from a chill on August 31, 1688, and was buried in Bunhill Fields.

  • Bunyan, John. Grace abounding to the chief of sinners, 1666 (Menston: Scolar Press, 1970; PR 3329 G1 1666A Robarts Library). Also the edition by Roger Sharrock (London: Oxford University Press, 1966; PR 3329 G1 1966 Robarts Library).
  • --. Christian behaviour; The Holy City; The resurrection of the dead, ed. J. Sears McGee (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987; BR 75 .B7A6 1987 Robarts Library)
  • --. The pilgrim's progress, part 1, 1678 (Menston: Scolar Press, 1970; PR 3330 A1 1970 Robarts Library). Also The pilgrim's progress, ed. N. H. Keeble (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984; PR 3330 A2K43 1984 Robarts Library).
  • --. The life and death of Mr. Badman: presented to the world in a familiar dialogue between Mr. Wiseman and Mr. Attentive, ed. James F. Forrest and Roger Sharrock (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988; PR 3329 .L1 1988 St. Michael's College Library PR 3329)
  • --. The holy war made by Shaddai upon Diabolus for the regaining of the metropolis of the world: or, The losing and taking again of the town of Mansoul, ed. Roger Sharrock and James F. Forrest (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980; PR 3329 H1 1980 Robarts Library)
  • --. The Poems, ed. Graham Midgley (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980; BR 75 B7 A25 1980 Erindale College)
  • Forrest, James F., and Richard Lee Greaves.
  • John Bunyan: a reference guide (Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1982; Z 8131 F67 1982 Robarts Library)
  • Greaves, Richard L. “Bunyan, John (bap. 1628, d. 1688).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004.
  • Griffith, Gwilym Oswald.
  • John Bunyan (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1927; PR 3331 G75 1927 Robarts Library)
  • Harrison, Frank Mott. A bibliography of the works of John Bunyan (London: Oxford University Press for the Bibliographical Society, 1932; Z 8131 H3 Robarts Library)