Abraham Fleming: writer, cleric and preacher in Elizabethan and Jacobean London

Clare Painting-Stubbs

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

2104 Downloads (Pure)


Since his death in 1607, Abraham Fleming has never been completely forgotten about. This thesis covers all aspects of Fleming’s life. It begins with his time at Cambridge and the relationships he forged there. It studies his varied and sometimes groundbreaking contributions to the books associated with him (with a focus on his English texts and translations). It also covers his ordination into the Church of England and subsequent career as a chaplain to Charles Howard, earl of Nottingham. It also elucidates his previously unknown life as a curate in the parish of St Nicholas, Deptford and as a deacon and priest St Pancras, Soper Lane, and finally his sermons at Paul’s Cross in the grounds of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Fleming’s legacy of at least 52 printed books, which includes original godly protestant treatises, English translations of Latin and Greek classical works, and books commemorating unusual occasions, have ensured that his name lived on in bibliographic catalogues. Since the 1950s a few scholars have considered Fleming’s work on Holinshed’s Chronicles as significant contributions to the text. However, the subsequent articles that have been written about him have been narrow in scope and at times unreliable.
Recent studies of Fleming have considered him only as a minor writer, yet this thesis demonstrates that he was a literary figure of considerable significance. Fleming made an important contribution to the emerging public sphere, as foregrounded by Jurgen Habermas, that was lauded by his contemporaries but he has largely slipped from view. Before this doctoral research little was known about Fleming’s career as a preacher in the Church of England, a career in which he proved just as diligent as when he was a “learned corrector” of books. The aim of this thesis has been to throw fresh light on the multi-faceted career of Abraham Fleming and establish him as a leading figure in late-Sixteenth century political and print culture.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Croft, Pauline, Supervisor, External person
Award date1 Feb 2012
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011


  • Abraham Fleming

Cite this