Thomas Tryon - Encyclopedia




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THOMAS TRYON (1634-1703), English humanitarian, was born at Bilbury near Cirencester on the 6th of September 1634. He had but little schooling, spending his youth first in spinning and carding and then as a shepherd. In 1652 he went to London, apprenticed himself to a hatter, and accepted his master's Anabaptist principles until he read the works of Jacob Behmen. He now lived a very ascetic life, though he married and became a prosperous merchant. In 1682 he began to publish his views in support of vegetarianism and abstinence from alcohol and tobacco. He detested war, and in this and his mysticism resembled the early -Quakers. He died on the 21 st of August 1703.

His best known book, The Way to Health (1691), which much impressed Benjamin Franklin, was a second edition of Health's Grand Preservative; or, The Women's Best Doctor (London, 1682). He wrote on many other subjects, e.g. the education of children, the treatment of negro slaves, the way to save wealth, and dreams and visions. Some scanty autobiographical memoirs were published in 1705.

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