Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

John Dury


also John Durie

(1595 – 1680)


English clergyman and preacher.


Born into the family of the Presbyterian preacher Robert in Edinburgh, Scotland, his family subsequently moved to Leiden. Having completed his studies he worked for a short while as a private tutor in France, and then spent four years (1624-1628) in Oxford. In 1628 he became the clergyman at the Anglo-Scots mercantile colony at Elbląg in Prussia. The broad scope of his interests (he was a collector of rare publications and contemporary scientific and philosophical manuscripts, revelations and cabbalistic literature – the secret Jewish teachings from the Bible and medieval mysticism) was dominated by the idea of the unification of the evangelical churches. His irenic efforts (irenicism) were the permanent foundation of his friendship and collaboration with Samuel Hartlib and Jan Amos Comenius.


Of his numerous works, the pedagogical and irenic tracts best showing his co-operation with Dury, Hartlib and Comenius are:


De studio Comeniano Consultationes atque Exercitationes, MS.

De summa curae paedagogicae seu spirituali agricultura, 1628

De cabala sacra (a work mentioned in a letter to Hartlib in February 1628)

Leges Societatis Christianae, MS, Cf. supra, pp. 74 ff. Irenicum in quo casus conscientiae praecipui de viis quaerendae et constituendae inter Ecclesias Evangelicas Pacis, breviter proponuntur et deciduntur, 1654



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