Clagett, William

, eldest son of the preceding, was born at St. Edmundsbury, in Suffolk, September 14, 1646, and educated in the free-school there, under the care of Dr. Thomas Stephens, author of the notes on Statius’s Sylvse, who took very early notice of the promising parts of his scholar. Before he was full thirteen years of age, he was admitted a pensioner in Emanuel-college, in Cambridge, September 5, 1659, under the tuition of Mr. Thomas Jackson, where he took his degree of A. B. 1663, A.M. 1667, and commenced D. D. in 1683. He was then chosen one of the preachers of St. Edmundsbury, which office he discharged for seven years with universal reputation. From thence, at the instance of some considerable men of the long robe, whose business at the assizes there gave them opportunities of being acquainted with his great worth and abilities, he was thought worthy by the society of Gray’s-inn, to succeed the eminent Dr. Cradock, as their preacher, which he continued to be all the remaining part of his life, much to the satisfaction of the society. He was also presented by the lord keeper North (who was his wife’s kinsman) to the rectory of Farnham-royal, in Buckinghamshire, into which he was instituted May 14, 1683; but what he most valued next to his preacher’s place at Gray’s-inn, was the lectureship of St. Michael Bassishaw, to which he was elected by that parish about two years before his death. He was also chaplain in ordinary to his majesty. He was cut off, however, in the prime of life. He was seized with the small-pox on a | Sunday evening, March the 16th, after having preached at St. Martin in the Fields, in his Lent course there; and died March 28, 1638. He was buried in a vault under part of the church of St. Michael Bassishaw, in the grave with his wife, Mrs. Thornasin North, a most virtuous and accomplished woman, who died eighteen days after him, of the same disease. We are assured by the testimony of Dr. Sharp, that no man of a private condition, in the last age, died more lamented, and his private virtuesand public services are spoken of by all his contemporaries in the highest terms. Bishop Burnet ranks him among those worthy and eminent men whose lives and labours in a great measure rescued the church from those reproaches that the follies of others drew upon it; nor ought it to be forgotten, that he was one of those excellent divines who made that noble stand against popery in the reign of king James II. which will redound to their immortal honour. The several things published by Dr. Clagett, are as follows: 1. “A Discourse concerning the Operations of the Holy Spirit; with a confutation of some part of Dr. Owen’s book upon that subject,” Part I. Lond. 1677, 8vo; Part II. Lond. 1680, 8vo. In this second part there is an answer to Mr. John Humphreys’s Animadversions on the first Part. The author intended a third part, proving that the Fathers were not on Dr. Ovven’s side, which was burnt by an accidental fire, and the author never found leisure to re-write it. We are not of opinion, however, that what is published ranks among his most successful performances. In 1719 Dr. Stebbing published an abridgment of the two parts mentioned above. 2. “A Reply to a pamphlet called The Mischief of Impositions, by Mr. Alsop, which pretends to answer the dean of St. Paul’s (Dr. Stillingfleet’s) Sermon concerning the Mischief of Separation,” Lond. 1681, 4to. 3. “An Answer to the Dissenters’ Objections against the Common Prayers, and some other parts of the divine service prescribed in the Liturgy of the Church of England,” Lond. 1683, 4to. 4. “The Difference of the Case between the Separation of Protestants fromthe Church of Rome, and the Separation of Dissenters from the Church of England,” Lond. 1683, 4to. 5. “The State of the Church of Rome when the Reformation began, as it appears by the advices given to pope Paul III. and Julius III. by creatures of their own.” 6. “A Discourse concerning the Invocation of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints,” Lond. 1686, 4to. 7. “A Paraphrase, | with notes, upon the sixth Chapter of St. John, shewing that there is neither good reason, nor sufficient authority to suppose that the Eucharist is discoursed of in that chapter, much less to infer the doctrine of Transubstantiation from it.” Lond. 1686, 4to. Reprinted in 1689, 8vo, at the end of his second volume of sermons. 8. “Of the Humanity and Chanty of Christians. A Sermon preached at the Suffolk Feast, at St. Michael, Cornhill, London, November 30, 1686.” 9. “A Discourse concerning the pretended Sacrament of Extreme Unction, &.c.” in three parts. “With a letter to the Vindicator of the bishop of Condom,” Lond. 1687, 4to. 10. “A second letter to the Vindicator of the bishop of Condom,” Lond. 1637, 4to. 11. “Authority of Councils, and the Rule of Faith, with an answer to the Eight Theses laid down for the Trial of the English Reformation.” The first

part, about Councils, by Hutchinson, esq. the rest

by Dr. Clagett, 4to. 12. “Notion of Idolatry considered and confuted/' Lond. 1688. 13.” Cardinal Bellarmine’s seventh note, of the Union of the Members among themselves, and with the Head.“14.” His twelfth note, Of the Light of Prophecy, examined and confuted.“15.” A View of the whole Controversy between the Representer and the Answerer; in which are laid open some of the methods by which Protestants are misrepresented by Papists,“Lond. 1687, 4to. 16.” An Answer to the Representer’s Reflections upon the State and View of the Controversy. With a Reply to the Vindicator’s full Answer; shewing that the Vindicator has utterly ruined the new design of expounding and representing Popery,“London, 1688, 4to. 17.” Several captious Queries concerning the English Reformation, first in Latin, and afterwards by T. W. in English, briefly and fully answered,“Lond. 1688, 4to. 18. * f A Preface concerning the Testimony of Miracles, prefixed to The School of the Eucharist established upon the miraculous respects and acknowledgements, which Beasts, Birds, and Insects, upon several occasions, have rendered to the Sacrament of the Altar.” Translated by another hand, from the original French of F. Toussain Bridoul, a Jesuit," Lond. 1687, 4to. Besides these, after his decease, his brother, Mr. Nicolas Clagett, published four volumes of his sermons: the first in 1689, contained seventeen sermons; one of which was greatly admired by queen Mary, who desired to have it read more than once during her last illness: Text, Job ii. 10. The second | volume, printed in 1693, contained eleven sermons; a Paraphrase and Notes upon the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth Chapters of the Gospel of St. John. The Paraphrase, and Notes on the sixth Chapter, which had been published before: A Discourse of Church- Unity, with Directions now, in this divided State of Christendom, to keep within the Unity of the Church A Discourse of Humanity and Charity And a Letter concerning Protestants Charity to Papists published by Dr. Clagett. The third and fourth volumes did not come out till 1720, at so great a distance of tune from the two former volumes, that the booksellers would not call them the third and fourth volumes, but the first and second volumes, as well as the former; only notice was given, that they were never before published. 1


Biog. Brit.—Life prefixed to Sermons.—Burnet’s Own Times.-Cole’s ms. Athenæ in Brit. Mus.