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Preston, Thomas


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


Thomas Preston was billed on the title page as the author of Cambises (first published in 1570), one of the most important mid-sixteenth century English plays. It was long assumed that he was the Thomas Preston (1537–98) from Simpson, Buckinghamshire, who had a distinguished academic career at Cambridge. After attending Eton College, this Preston moved to King's College, Cambridge, graduating BA in 1557, MA in 1561, acting as university proctor in 1565, and proceeding as LLD, probably in 1576. Resigning his King's fellowship – presumably to marry – he was elected master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in 1586, and was the university's vice chancellor in 1589–90. His civil law training led to his admission to the College of Advocates in 1586, and his position as advocate in the court of arches in 1591. He died in 1598, by which time he had three residences, and was a wealthy man ( Shepard 2004 ). The Cambridge Preston had theatrical credentials, performing before Elizabeth I in a tragedy based on the Dido story during the queen's 1564 visit to the university, when he was noted for his ‘gracefull gesture … and propernesse of person’ ( Shepard 2004 ). David Bevington (1962) also notes that the Cambridge Preston's authorship might explain ‘some surprisingly esoteric learning concerning the Greek tragedian Agathon, accurately translated from the Eclogue of Stobaeus’ in Cambises . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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