Anglican scholar, b. Pickwell, Leicestershire, England, Dec. 30, 1637; d. Windsor, England, Aug. 4, 1713. Educated at Cambridge (1653–60), where he received his master's degree, he was vicar at Islington (1662–79), All Hallows the Great (1679–89), and Isleworth (1690–1713). In 1674 he published Tabulae ecclesiasticae, a catalogue of Church authors in the tradition of Jerome's De viris illustribus and Bellarmine's De scriptoribus ecclesiasticis. Expanded into an ecclesiastical archive in 1685, Cave's Tabulae served as a basis for his monumental Scriptorum ecclesiasticorum historia literaria (1688–99), which dealt by epochs with the whole of Church literature to Luther. Cave also published a series of historical monographs: Primitive Christianity (1672); the Apostolici (1677), covering the chief figures of the first three centuries; and the Ecclesiastici (1683), on the Fathers of the fourth century. In 1685 he published a tract on Church government in which he attacked the Roman primacy. Although logical and erudite, he lacked a critical sense and was censured by continental Protestants as well as by Catholics for his attempt to identify the Anglican Church with the primitive Christian Church. All of Cave's works were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books in 1693.
Bibliography: j. overton, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 1885–1900; repr. with corrections, 21 v., 1908–09, 1921–22, 1938; suppl.1901), 3:1250–52. c. constantin, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951– ), 2.2:2044–45.
[f. x. murphy]