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a and of his name in Oxford
shire our Author derived his descent; but he was born at London in the year 1608. The publisher of his works in profe (on whofe veracity fome part of this narrative must entirely depend) dates his birth two years earlier than this: but contradicting himself afterwards in his own computation, I reduce it to the time that Monfieur Bayle hath affigned; and for the fame reason which prevailed with him to affign it. His father John Milton, by profeffion a fcrivener, lived in a reputable manner on a competent eftate, entirely his own acquifition, having been early difinherited by his parents for renouncing the communion of the church of Rome, to which they were zealously devoted. By his wife Sarah Cafton he had likewife one daughter, named Anna, and another fon, Chriftopher, whom he trained to the practice of the common law, who in the great rebellion adhered to the royal caufe; and in the reign of King James II. by too eafy a compliance with the doctrines of the court, both religious and civil, he attained to the dignity of being made a judge of the common pleas; of which he died divested not long after the Revolution.
But John, the fubject of the prefent Effay, was the favourite of his father's hopes, who, to cultivate the
* Mr. TOLAND,