Thomas Rymer (c. 1643 – 14 December 1713) was an English antiquary and historian. His most lasting contribution was to compile and publish the Foedera: 16 volumes of the texts of agreements made between The Crown of England and foreign powers during all earlier centuries. He held the office of English Historiographer Royal from 1692 to 1714.
Although Rymer was still at Cambridge in 1662, when he contributed Latin verses to a university volume celebrating the marriage of Charles II and Catherine of Braganza, there is no record of his taking a degree. This may have been due to the financial problems his father was suffering at the time, or the fact that on 13 October 1663 his father was arrested, and executed the following year, for his involvement in the Farnley Wood Plot to stage an uprising in Yorkshire against Charles II. Although Thomas's elder brother Ralph was also arrested and imprisoned, Thomas himself was not implicated, and on 2 May 1666, he became a member of Gray's Inn, and was called to the bar on 16 June 1673.
Rymer's first appearance in print was as translator of René Rapin's Reflections on Aristotle's Treatise of Poesie (1674), to which he added a preface in defence of the classical rules for unity in drama. Following the principles set there set, he composed a tragedy in verse, licensed on 13 September 1677, called Edgar, or the English Monarch, which was a failure. It was printed in 1678, with a second edition in 1693. Rymer's views on the drama were again given to the world in a printed letter to Fleetwood Shepheard, the friend of Matthew Prior, entitled The Tragedies of the Last Age Consider'd (1678).
To Ovid's Epistles Translated by Several Hands (1680), with a preface by Dryden, Rymer contributed Penelope to Ulysses. He was also one of those who Englished the so-called Dryden's Plutarch of 1683–1686 (5 vols.): the life of Nicias fell to his share.
Rymer wrote a preface to Whitelocke's Memorials of English Affairs (1682), and in 1681 A General Draught and Prospect of the Government of Europe, reprinted in 1689 and 1714 as Of the Antiquity, Power, and Decay of Parliaments, where, ignorant of his future dignity, the critic had the misfortune to observe, "You are not to expect truth from an historiographer royal."
Rymer's next piece of authorship was to translate the sixth elegy of the third book of Ovid's Tristia for Dryden's Miscellany Poems (Silvae, Second Part of Miscellanies, 2nd edition (1692), p. 148). On the death of Thomas Shadwell in 1692, Rymer received the appointment of historiographer royal at a yearly salary of £200. Immediately after appeared his much discussed A Short View of Tragedy (1693), criticising Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, which gave rise to The Impartial Critick (1693) of John Dennis, the epigram of Dryden.
In his discussion of The Bloody Brother by John Fletcher, Philip Massinger, Ben Jonson, and George Chapman, Rymer coins the term "poetical justice".
Irving Ribner: "Dryden's Shaksperian criticism and the neo-classical paradox", The Shakespeare Association Bulletin Vol. 21, No. 4 (October 1946), pp. 168–171. Published by: Oxford University Press  Published by Jacob Tonson, Bookseller
Keith Walker: The American Scholar Vol. 61, No. 3 (Summer 1992), pp. 424–430. Published by: The Phi Beta Kappa Society 
On p. 429 Walker mentions a preface by Rymer to some lewd poems by the Earl of Rochester: Poems on several occasions by the E... of R... (1680), but the Online books page of University of Michigan seems not to have the preface. 
Rymer's most lasting contribution to scholarship was the Foedera, a collection of "all the leagues, treaties, alliances, capitulations, and confederacies, which have at any time been made between the Crown of England and any other kingdoms, princes and states". Documents were presented in Latin with summaries in English. Begun under a royal warrant in 1693, it was "an immense labour of research and transcription on which he spent the last twenty years of his life".
The first edition of the Foedera comprised 20 volumes dated from 1704 to 1735. Sixteen were prepared by Rymer, of which the last two were published posthumously by his assistant Robert Sanderson, who himself compiled the remaining volumes, the last three being supplementary.
George Holmes revised the first 17 volumes, published from 1727 to 1735, as well as a single folio (in 1730) of corrections to the first edition.
The "Hague edition" was published from 1737 to 1745 in "ten closely-printed folio volumes".[nb 1] The first nine reprinted the London edition, with the tenth combining Paul de Rapin's French-language synopsis and an index to the Foedera. Rapin's text had been translated into English in 1733.
The Record Commission in 1800 proposed a "Supplement and Continuation" to the Foedera; in 1809 it decided instead on a complete revision. Seven parts were prepared before the project was abandoned owing to dissatisfaction with the editing. Six parts in three volumes were published from 1816 to 1830, and the seventh in 1869, along with miscellaneous notes.[nb 2] The work was thus revised up to the year 1383. A three-volume English-language summary and index of the complete Foedera followed. The Victoria County History guide recommends citing the Record Commission (RC) edition where available and the Hague edition otherwise.
^Christopher Bond (September 2009). "The Phœnix and the Prince: The Poetry of Thomas Ross and Literary Culture in the Court of Charles II". The Review of English Studies. 60 (246): 588–604. doi:10.1093/res/hgn169.
^A 1688 translation into English of William Bellenden's Ciceronis Princeps (first published anonymously in Paris in 1608) sometimes said to be Thomas Rymer's first publication, has been shown by Curt Zimansky to be the work of Thomas Ross (1620–1675), courtier, poet and tutor to the first Duke of Monmouth.
^"Thomas Rymer: Reflections on Aristotle's Treatise of Poesie: The Preface of the Translator". English Poetry 1579-1830: Spenser and the Tradition. Retrieved 26 March 2019. NB This page includes the thoughts of other critics about Rymer, such as: George Saintsbury (1911) History of English Criticism, pp. 133-34; Herbert E. Cory (1911) Critics of Edmund Spenser, pp. 120-21; Harko Gerrit De Maar (1924), History of Modern English Romanticism, p. 34; and H. T. Swedenberg (1944), Theory of the Epic in England, p. 47.
^This work went through numerous, increasingly expanded editions: e. g. Ovid; Rymer, Thomas (1776). "Penelope to Ulysses". In Dryden, John (preface) (ed.). Ovid's Epistles: with his Amours. Translated into English Verse by the Most Eminent Hands. London: Printed for T. Davies, W. Strahan, W. Clarke, et al.
^Plutarch; Rymer, Thomas (1693). "Nicias". The third volume of Plutarch's lives. Translated from the Greek, by several hands. (Early English Books Online – text only). London: Printed by R. E. for Jacob Tonson, at the Judges Head in Chancery-Lane, near Fleet-street. pp. 411–471.
^Oppenheimer, Carl H (1940). The Carl H. Pforzheimer Library. 3. New York: Privately Printed. p. 1083. Source: "Poems to the memory of that incomparable poet Edmond Waller Esquire". WorldCat. OCLC15877645.
^Rymer, Thomas (1688). "Preface". In Hobbes, Thomas (ed.). Historia ecclesiastica carmine elegiaco concinnata Authore, Thoma Hobbio Malmesburiensi. (Early English Books Online - text only) (in Latin). Augustae Trinobantum (London).
^Molesworth, William, ed. (1845). Thomae Hobbes Malmesburiensis Opera philosophica quae latine scripsit omnia: in unum corpus nunc primum collecta / studio et labore Gulielmi Molesworth, Vol. 5. (5 vols) (in Latin). p. 354. hdl:2027/wu.89010190502.
^William Molesworth, in his 1845 edition of Hobbes says that the preface is by Rymer, and that the original title page and motto must be attributed to him. Patricia Springborg also says the intro is by Rymer.
^Hobbes, Thomas; Rymer, Thomas (Preface) (1722). English paraphrase, A True Ecclesiastical History From Moses to the time of Martin Luther, in Verse. Made English from the Latin original. London: Printed for E. Curll. hdl:2027/njp.32101073248617.
^"Dr. Blackburne certainly wrote a Latin supplement to the short "Life", entitled "Vitae Hobbianie Auctarium", the first sentence of which supplies the chief evidence of his authorship of the "Life". Both these works would seem to have been derived from a larger and fuller "Life" in manuscript written in English by John Aubrey, and used with the knowledge and consent of the latter, and possibly with the assistance of Hobbes himself." Blackburne, Richard by Arthur Henry Grant in DNB Volume 5.
^Dryden and Jacob Tonson's Poetical Miscellanies has a somewhat involved publishing history of numerous editions with various titles, reprints and bindings. The second edition of the Second Part (1692) seems to be the only one to contain Rymer's translation, and was apparently only published bound up with some copies of the second edition of the First Part (also 1692). The first edition of the Second Part was published as Sylvæ: or the Second Part of Poetical Miscellanies (1685). A second edition of Sylvae was published in 1692 and was bound with the second edition of Part One of the Miscellany Poems (1692) (Part One, 1st ed. 1684, reissued 1685). In addition, some copies of the first edition of Sylvæ (not containing Rymer's Ovid) were bound up with the second edition of the Miscellany Poems.
^ Hardy, Thomas Duffus, ed. (1869–85). Syllabus (in English) of the documents relating to England and other kingdoms contained in the collection known as "Rymer's Foedera.". Public Record Office. — v.1. 1066–1377 (1869); v.2. 1377–1654 (1873); v.3. Appendix and index (1885).