Thomas North

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Sir Thomas North (1535–1604) was an English justice of the peace, military officer and translator. His translation into English of Plutarch's Parallel Lives is notable for being a source text used by William Shakespeare for several of his plays.

Thomas North was born in 1535 and was the second son of the Edward North, 1st Baron North.

He is supposed to have been a student of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and was entered at Lincoln's Inn in 1557. In 1574 he accompanied his brother, Lord North, on a visit to the French court. He served as captain in the year of the Armada, and was knighted about three years later. His name is on the roll of justices of the peace for Cambridge in 1592 and again in 1597, and he received a small pension (£40 a year) from Queen Elizabeth in 1601.

He translated, in 1557, Guevara's Reloj de Principes (commonly known as Libro áureo), a compendium of moral counsels chiefly compiled from the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, under the title of Diall of Princes. The English of this work is one of the earliest specimens of the ornate, copious and pointed style for which educated young Englishmen had acquired a taste in their Continental travels and studies...

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