Barwick, John

, an eminent English divine, was born at Wetherslack, in Westmoreland, April 2O, 1612. His parents were not considerable either for rank or riches; but were otherwise persons of great merit, and happy in their family. John, the third son, was intended for the church, but being sent to school in the neighbourhood, he lost much time under masters deficient in diligence and learning. At length he was sent to Sedberg school, in Yorkshire, where, under the care of a tolerable master, he gave early marks both of genius and piety. In the year 1631, and the eighteenth of his age, he was admitted of St. John’s college, at Cambridge, under the tuition of Mr. Thomas Fothergill, who proved at once a guardian and a preceptor, supplying his necessities, as well as instructing him in learning. By this help Mr. Barwick quickly so distinguished himself, that when a dispute arose about the election of a master, which at last came to be heard before the privy-council, the college chose Mr. Barwick, then little above twenty, to manage for them, by which he not only became conspicuous in the university, but was also taken notice of at court, and by the ministry. In 1635 he became B. A. while these affairs were still depending. April the 5th, 1636, he was created Fellow, without opposition, and in 1638 he took the degree of M. A. When the civil war broke out, and the king wrote a letter to the university, acquainting them that he was in extreme want, Mr. Barwick concurred with those loyal persons, who first sent him a small supply in money, and afterwards their college-plate, and upon information that Cromwell, afterwards the protector, lay | with a party of foot at a place called Lower Hedges, between Cambridge and Huntington, in order to make himself master of this small treasure, Mr. Barwick made one of the party of horse which conveyed it through by-roads safely to Nottingham, where his majesty had set up his standard. By this act of loyalty the parliament was so provoked, that they sent Cromwell with a body of troops to quarter in the university, where they committed the most brutal outrages. Mr. Barwick also published a piece against the covenant, entitled “Certain Disquisitions and Considerations, representing to the conscience the unlawfuluess of the oath entitled A Solemn League and Covenant for Reformation, &c. as also the insufficiency of the urgiiments used in the exhortation for taking the said covenant. Published by command,Oxford, 1644. In this, he was assisted by Messrs. Isaac Barrow, Seth Ward, Peter Gunning, and others. The above is the date of the second edition, the first having been seized and burnt. Having by this time provoked the men in power, he retired to London, and soon after was intrusted with the management of the king’s most private concerns, and carried on with great secrecy a constant correspondence between London and Oxford, where the king’s head-quarters then were, an employment for which there never was a man perhaps better fitted. For with great modesty, and a temper naturally meek, he had a prudence, sagacity, and presence of mind. He lived upon his first coming to town with Dr. Morton, then bishop of Durham, at Durham-house, which being an old spacious building, afforded him great conveniences for hiding his papers, and at the same time his residence with that prelate as his chaplain, countenanced his remaining in London. One great branch of his employment, was the bringing back to their duty some eminent persons who had been misled by the fair pretences of the great speakers in the long parliament. Amongst those who were thus reclaimed by the care of this religious and loyal gentleman, were sir Thomas Middleton and colonel Roger Pope, both persons of great credit with the party, and both very sincere converts. By his application, likewise, Mr. Cresset was convinced of his errors, and became an useful associate in the dangerous employment of managing the king’s intelligence. Even after the king’s affairs became desperate, Mr. Barwick still maintained his correspondence; and when his | majesty was in the hands of the army, had frequent access to him, and received his verbal orders. To perform his duty the more effectually, he had the king’s express command to lay aside his clerical habit; and in the dress of a private gentleman, with his sword by his side, he remained without suspicion in the army, and gave the king much useful intelligence; and even when his majesty came to be confined inCarisbrook castle, in the closest manner, Mr. Cresset, who was placed about him through the dexterous management of Mr. Barwick, preserved his majesty a free intercourse with his friends; for this purpose he first deposited with Mr. Barwick a cypher, and then hid a copy of it in a crack of the wall in the king’s chamber. By the help of this cypher, the king both wrote and read many letters every week, all of which passed through the hands of Mr. Barwick. He likewise was concerned in a well-laid design for procuring the king’s escape, which, however, was unluckily disappointed. These labours, though they were very fatiguing, did not hinder him from undertaking still greater; for when Mr. Holder, who had managed many correspondences for the king, was discovered and imprisoned, he had so much spirit and address as to procure admittance to, and a conference with him, whereby his cyphers and papers were preserved, and Mr. Barwick charged himself with the intelligence which that gentleman had carried on. After this he had a large share in bringing about the treaty at the Isle of Wight, and was now so well known to all the loyal party, that even those who had never seen him, readily trusted themselves to his care, in the most dangerous conjunctures. When the king was murdered, and the royal cause seemed to be desperate, Mr. Barwick, though harassed with a continual cough, followed by a spitting of blood, and afterwards by a consumption of his lungs, yet would not interrupt the daily correspondence he maintained with the ministers of king Charles II. At last, when he was become very weak, he was content that his brother, Dr. Peter Barwick, should share in his labours, by attending the post-office, which he did for about six months; and then this office was devolved on Mr. Edward Barwick, another of his brothers. This gentleman had not been engaged two months in this perilous business, before one Bostock, who belonged to the post-office, betrayed both him and Mr. John Barwick, together with some letters which came from the king’s | ministers abroad, into the hands of those who were then possessed of the government. These letters were superscribed to Mr. James Vandelft, Dutch merchant in London, which was a fictitious name made use of to cover their correspondence. Upon his examination, Mr. Barwick did all he could to take the blame upon himself, in order to free his brother Edward. Yet so careful he was of offending against truth, that he would not deny his knowledge of the letters, but insisted that he was not bound to accuse himself. Those who examined him were not ashamed to threaten him, though half dead with his distemper, with putting him to the torture if he did not immediately discover all who were concerned with him. To this Mr. Barwick answered with great spirit, that neither himself, nor any of his friends, had done any thing which they knew to be repugnant to the laws; and if by the force of tortures, which it was not likely a dry and bloodless carcase like his would be able to bear, any thing should be extorted which might be prejudicial to others, such a confession ought to go for nothing. Mr. Edward Barwick behaved with the like firmness, so that not so much as one person fell into trouble through their misfortune; and as for Mr. John Barwick, he had the presence of mind to burn his cyphers and other papers before those who apprehended him could break open his door. This extraordinary fortitude and circumspection so irritated president Bradshaw, sir Henry Mildmay, and others of the council who examined them, that, by a warrant dated the 9th of April 1650, they committed both the brothers to the Gate-house, where they were most cruelly treated, and three days afterwards committed Mr. John Barwick to the Tower. The reason they assigned for this change of his prison was, that he might be nearer to the rack, assuring him that in a few days they would name commissioners to examine him, who should have that engine for their secretary. Mr. Francis West, who was then lieutenant of the Tower, put him in a dungeon where he was kept from pen, ink, and paper, and books, with restraint from seeing any person except his keepers and, as an additional punishment, had boards nailed before his window to exclude the fresh air. In this melancholy situation he remained many months, during which time the diet he used was herbs or fruit, or thin water-gruel, made of oatmeal or barley, with currants boiled in it, and sweetened | with a little sugar, by which he recovered beyond all expectation, and grew plump and fat. A cure so perfect, and so strange, that Dr. Cheyne, and other physicians have taken notice of it in their writings as a striking instance of the power of temperance, even in the most inveterate diseases. While he was thus shut up, his friends laboured incessantly for his service and relief, and his majesty king Charles II. for whom he thus suffered, gave the highest testimonies of his royal concern for so faithful a subject. After fifteen months passed in confinement, Mr. Otway, and some other friends, procured a warrant from president Bradshaw to visit him, who were not a little surprised to find him in so good health, whom they had seen brought so low, as to engage this very Mr. Otway to take care of his burial. His prudence and patience under this persecution was so great, that they had a happy effect on all who came about him. Robert Brown, who was deputy lieutenant of the Tower, became first exceeding civil to him, and afterwards his convert, so as to have his child baptized by him; and, which was a still stronger proof of his sincerity, he quitted the very profitable post he held, and returned to his business, that of a cabinet-maker. Nay, Mr. West, the lieutenant of the Tower, who treated him so harshly at his entrance, abated by degrees of this rigour, and became at last so much softened, that he was as ready to do him all offices of humanity, removing him out of a noisome dungeon into a handsome chamber, where he might enjoy freer air, and sometimes even the company of his friends. He likewise made assiduous application to the council of state, that while Mr. Barwick remained in the Tower, he might have an allowance granted him for his subsistence; and when he could not prevail, he supplied him from his own table. Indeed, after two years confinement, the commonwealth did think fit to allow him five shillings a week, which he received for about four months. Then, through the same friendly intercession of Mr. West, he was discharged on the 7th of August, 1652, but upon giving security to appear at any time within a twelve-month before the council of state. He then visited his old patron, the bishop of Durham, his aged parents, and the incomparable lady Savile; but the place he chose for his residence was the house of sir Thomas Eversfield, of Sussex, a man of great integrity as well as learning, with whom he lived for many months. | After the expiration of the year, to which the recognizance entered into hy himself and his friends, Mr. Thomas Royston, student of Gray’s-inn, and Mr. Richard Royston, of London, bookseller, extended, he began to think of getting up his bond, and entering again into the king’s service. With this view he found it expedient to pay a visit to president Bradshaw, who, as he had now quarrelled with Cromwell, received him civilly, and told him he probably would hear no more of his recognizance. On this assurance, he began to enter again into business, and drew over several considerable persons, such as colonel John Clobery, colonel Daniel Redman, and colonel Robert Venables, to the king’s service, with whom he conferred on several schemes for restoring monarchy, in all which they were long disappointed by Cromwell. His friend, sir Thomas Eversfield, dying, and his widow retiring to the house of her brother, sir Thomas Middleton, at Chirk castle, in Denbighshire, Dr. Barwick accompanied her thither, and remained for some time with sir Thomas, who was his old friend. His own and the king’s affairs calling him back to London, he lived with his brother, Dr. Peter Barwick, in St. Paul’s Church-yard, and there managed the greatest part of the king’s correspondence, with as much care, secrecy, and success as ever. While he was thus engaged, he received some interruption by the revival of that old calumny on the church of England, the Nag’s head ordination, to which he furnished bishop Bramhall with the materials for a conclusive answer. His modesty and private way of living preserved him from much notice, even in those prying times; and yet, when proper occasions called for more open testimonies of his principles, Mr. Barwick did not decline professing them, as appeared by his assisting Dr. John Hewet, while in prison for a plot against Cromwell, and even on the scaffold, when he lost his head. By the death of this gentleman, his branch of intelligence, and the care of conveying some hundred pounds which he had collected for the king’s use, devolved upon Mr. Barwick; who, though he had already so much upon his hands, readily undertook, and happily performed it. The concern Mr. Barwick had for the king and for the state, did not hinder him from attending, when he was called thereto, the business of the church, in which, however, he had a very worthy associate, Mr. Richard Allestrey, who took the most troublesome part on himself. | by performing several dangerous journies into Flanders, in order to receive the king’s commands by word of mouth. In the rising of sir George Booth, ue had a principal concern in the managing of the design, and in providing for the safety of such as escaped after it miscarried. Not long after he narrowly missed a new imprisonment, through the treachery of some who were intrusted by the king’s ministers: for by their intelligence, Mr. Allestrey was seized as soon as he landed at Dover, and one of Mr. Barwick’s letters intercepted, but it is supposed to have been imperfectly decyphered. In the midst of these difficulties died the good oid bishop of Durham, whom Mr. Barwick piously assisted in his last moments, preached his funeral sermon, and afterwards wrote his life, whicu he dedicated to the king. All the hopes that now remained of a restoration rested upon general Monk, and though Mr. Barwick had no direct correspondence with him, yet he furnished him with very important assistance in that arduous affair. After there seemed to be no longer any doubt of the king’s return, Mr. Barwick was sent over by the bishops to represent the state of ecclesiastical affairs, and was received by his majesty with cordial affection, preached before him the Sunday after his arrival, and was immediately appointed one of his chaplains. Yet these extraordinary marks of the king’s favour never induced him to make any request for himself, though he did not let slip so fair an opportunity of recommending effectually several of his friends, and procuring for them an acknowledgment suitable to each of their services. On his return he visited the university of Cambridge, where he very generously relinquished his right to his fellowship, in favour of an intruder, because he had the reputation of being a young man of learning and probity. Before he left the university, he took the degree of D. D. upon which occasion he performed his exercise, merely to support the discipline of the university. The thesis on this occasion was very singular, viz. That the method of imposing penance, and restoring penitents in the primitive church was a godly discipline, and that it is much to be wished it was restored. The Latin disputation upon this question has been preserved, and it was chiefly for the sake of inserting it, that Dr. Peter Barwick composed his brother’s life in Latin. When the church of England was restored by king Charles II. the deans and chapters revived, Dr. | Barvvick, according to his usual modesty, contented himself with recommending his tutor, old Mr. Fothergill, to a prehend in the cathedral church of York; but as to himself, he would have rested content with the provision made for him by his late patron, the bishop of Durham, who had given him the fourth stall in his cathedral, and the rectories of Wolsingham, and Houghton in le Spring; and used to say that he had too much. Among other extraordinary offices to which he was called at this busy time, one was to visit Hugh Peters, in order to draw from him some account of the person -who actually cut off the head of king Charles I.; but in this neither he nor Dr. Doiben, his associate, had any success. Before the restoration there had been a design of consecrating Dr. Barvvick, bishop of Man; but the countess of Derby desiring to prefer her chaplain, the king, of his own motive, would have promoted him to the see of Carlisle, which the doctor steadily refused, that the world might not imagine the extraordinary zeal he had shewn for episcopacy flowed from any secret hope of his one day being a bishop. Upon this he was promoted to the deanery of Durham, with which he kept the rectory of Houghton. He took possession of his deanery on the feast of All Saints, 1660, and as he enjoyed a large revenue, he employed it in repairing public buildings, relieving the poor, and keeping up great hospitality, both at the house of his deanery and at Houghton. But before the year was out, he was called from these cares, in which he would willingly have spent his whole life, by his being made dean of St. Paul’s, a preferment less in value, and attended with much more trouble than that he already possessed. As soon as he had done this, he put an end to all granting of leases, even where he had agreed for the fine with the tenants, and did many other things for the benefit of his successor, which shewed his contempt of secular advantages, and his sincere concern for the rights of the church. He took possession of the deanery of St. Paul’s, about the middle of October, 1661, and found, as he expected, all in very great disorder with respect to the church itself, and every thing that concerned it. He set about reforming these abuses with a truly primitive spirit, and prosecuted with great vigour the recovery of such revenue’s as in the late times of distraction had been alienated from the church; though with respect to his own particular concerns he was | never rigid to any body, but frequently gave up things to which he had a clear title. By his interest with his majesty he obtained two royal grants under the great seal of England, one for the repair of the cathedral, the other for enumerating and securing its privileges. In this respect he was so tender, that he would not^Joermit the lord mayor of London to erect there a seat for himself at the expence of the city, but insisted that it should be done at the charge of the church. Towards the repairing the cathedral, he, together with the residentiaries, gave the rents of the houses in St. Paul’s Church-yard as a settled fund, besides which they advanced each of them 500l. a piece, and, in many other respects, he demonstrated that neither the love of preferment, nor the desire of wealth, had any share in his acceptance of this dignity. He was next appointed one of the nine assistants to the twelve bishops commissioned to hold a conference with the like number of presbyterian ministers upon the review of the liturgy, usually called the Savoy conference, because held at the bishop of London’s lodgings in the Savoy. He was also, by the unanimous suffrage of all the clergy of the province of Canterbury assembled in convocation, chosen prolocutor on the 18th of February, 1661; in which office he added to the reputation he had before acquired. His application, however, to the discharge of so many and so great duties brought upon him his old “distemper, so that in November, 1662, he was confined to his chamber: he heightened his disease by officiating at the sacrament the Christmas-day following, after which he was seized with a violent vomiting of blood. Upon this he was advised to a change of air, and retired to Therfield in Hertfordshire, of which he was rector, but finding himself there too far from London, he returned to Chiswick, where he in some measure recovered his health. As soon as he found he had a little strength, he applied himself there to the putting in order the archives of St. Paul’s church, but this return of active employment was followed by an extraordinary flux of blood, which rendered him very weak, and defeated his favourite design of retiring to Therfield. When he first found his health declining, he made choice of and procured this living, intending to have resigned his deanery and office of prolocutor, to those who had vigour enough to discharge them, and to spend the remainder of his days in the discharge of his pastoral office, | to which he thought himself bound by his taking orders. But coming upon some extraordinary occasion to London, he was seized with a pleurisy, which carried him off in three days. He was attended in his last moments by Dr. Peter Gunning, afterwards bishop of Ely, and as he lived, so he died, with all the marks of an exemplary piety, on the 22d of October, 1664, after he had struggled almost twelve years with this grievous distemper. By hrs will he bequeathed the greatest part of his estate to charitable uses, and this with a judgment equal to his piety. His body was interred in the cathedral of St. Paul’s, with an epitaph composed by Mr. Samuel Howlet. The character of Mr. Barwick may be easily collected from the preceding sketch, but is more fully illustrated in his life published by Dr. Peter Barwick, a work of great interest and amusement. His printed works are very few. Besides the tract on the covenant, before mentioned, we have only his” Life of Thomas Morton, bishop of Durham, and a funeral sermon,“1660, 4to; and” Deceivers deceived,“a sermon at St. Paul’s, Oct. 20, 1661,” 1661, 4to. Many of his letters to chancellor Hyde are among Thurloe’s State Papers. 1


Biog. Brit. Life by Dr. Peter Barwick, Lat. and English; the English translation by Hilkiah Bedford, with many curious and useful notes.