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Chubb, Thomas

CHUBB, THOMAS (1670-1746), English deist, the son of a maltster, was born at East Harnham, near Salisbury, on the 29th of September 1679. The death of his father (1688) cut short his education, and in 1694 he was apprenticed to a glove-maker in Salisbury, but subsequently entered the employment of a tallow-chandler. He picked up a fair knowledge of mathematics and geography, but theology was his favourite study. His habit of committing his thoughts to writing gave him a clear and fluent style. He made his first appearance as an author in the Arian controversy. A dispute having arisen about Whiston's argument in favour of the supremacy of the one God and Father, he wrote an essay, The Supremacy of the Father Asserted, which Whiston pronounced worthy of publication, and it was printed in 1715. A number of tracts followed, which were collected in 1730. For several years Chubb lived in the house of Sir Joseph Jekyll, master of the rolls, in what capacity it is not known; there are stories of his having waited at table as a servant out of livery. His love of independence drew him back to Salisbury, where by the kindness of friends he was enabled to devote the rest of his days to his studies. He died on the 8th of February 1746. Chubb is interesting mainly as showing that the rationalism of the intellectual classes had taken considerable hold upon the popular mind. Though he acquired little renown in England he was regarded by Voltaire and others as among the most logical of the deist school (see Deism). His principal works are A Discourse Concerning Reason (1731), The True Gospel of Jesus Christ (1739), and Posthumous Works, 2 vols. (1748), the last containing "The Author's Farewell to his Readers."

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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