Fowler, Christopher

, a clergyman originally of the church of England, was the son of John Fowler of Marlborough, in Wiltshire, where he was born in 1610 or 1611. In 1627 he was admitted a servitor at Magdalencollege, Oxford, and continued there until he took his bachelor’s degree; and then went to Edmund-hall, and took that of master. Having entered into holy orders, he preached some time in and near Oxford; and afterwards at West-Woodhay, near Donnington castle, in Berkshire. In 1641 he took the covenant, and joined the presbyterians being then, as Wood imagines, minister of | Margaret’s, Lothbury, but his name does not occur in the registers until 1652. In 1641 he became vicar of St. Mary’s, Reading, and an assistant to the commissioners of Berkshire, for the ejection of such as were then styled “scandalous, ignorant, and insufficient ministers and schoolmasters.” He was at length, a fellow of Eton college, though he had refused the engagement, as it was called. After the restoration, he lost his fellowship of Eton, and, being deprived of the vicarage of St. Mary’s for non-conformity, he retired to London, and afterwards to Kennington, in Surrey, where he continued to preach, although privately. For some time before his death, he was much disordered in his understanding, and died in Southwark, Jan. 15, 1676, and was buried within the precincts of St. John Baptist’s church, near Dowgate. He is said by Wood to have used odd gestures and antic behaviour in the pulpit, unbecoming the serious gravity of the place, but which made him popular in those times. His character by Mr. Cooper, who preached his funeral sermon, is more favourable, being- celebrated “as an able, holy, faithful, indefatigable servant of Christ. He was quick in apprehension, solid in his notions, clear in his conceptions, sound in the faith, strong and demonstrative in arguing, mighty in convincing, and zealous for ther truth against all errors.” We are told, likewise, that “he had a singular gift in chronology, not for curious speculation or ostentation, but as a key and measure to know the signs of the times,” &c.

His works are, 1. “Daemonium meridianum, or Satan at noon; being a sincere and impartial relation of the pro-; ceedings of the commissioners of the county of Berks, authorized by the ordinance for ejection, against John Pordage, late minister of Bradfield, in the same county,‘” Lond. 1655, 4to. This Pordage appeared to these commissioners to be unsound in the doctrine of the Trinity. 2. “Daemonium meridianum, the second part, discovering the slanders and calumnies cast upon some corporations, with forged and false articles upon the author, in at pamphlet entitled `The case of Reading rightly stated,’ by the adherents and abettors of the said J. Pordage,” Lond. 1656, 4to. To this is subjoined “A Word to Infent Baptism,” &c. Fowler likewise published a few crc- 1 casional Sermons; and “A sober answer to an angry epistle directed to all public teachers in this nation/' | prefixed to a book called” Christ’s innocency pleaded against the cry of the Chief Priests,“by Thomas Speed, qnaker, &c. Lond. 1656. In this he was” assisted by Simon Ford, vicar of St. Laurence, Reading, and it was animadverted on by George Fox, in one of his publications. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. II. —Calamy. Coates’t Hist,