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Thomas Hobbes, the second son of the Vicar of Westport, now included in the town of Malmesbury in Wiltshire, was prematurely born on Good Friday, April 5, 1588 His own theory was that both his premature birth and his constitutional timidity were consequences of his mother's alarm at the impending approach of the Great Armada. The father, 'one of the ignorant Sir Johns of Elizabeth's time,' fell into trouble by assaulting a rival cleric at the church door, and was obliged to go into hiding, but the boy's education was cared for by a maternal uncle, who was a flourishing glover and alderman of Malmesbury.
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