Potter, Christopher

, nephew to the preceding, was born also within the barony of Kendal in Westmorland, about 1591, and became clerk of Queen’s college, Oxford, in the beginning of 1606. On April 30, 1610, he took the degree of B.A.and July 8, 1613, that of M.A.; and the same year was chosen chaplain of the college, and afterwards fellow of it. He was then a great admirer of Dr. Henry Airay, provost of that college, some of whose works he published, and who was a zealous puritan, and a lecturer at Abingdon in Berks, where he was much resorted to for his preaching. 'On March the 9th, 1620, he took the degree of bachelor of divinity, and February 17, 1626-7, that of doctor, having | succeeded his uncle Dr. Barnabas Potter in the provostship of his college on the 17th of June, 1626. “Soon after,” says Mr. Wood, “when Dr. Laud became a rising favourite at court, he, after a great deal of seeking, was made his creature, and therefore by the precise party he was esteemed an Arminian.” On March the 15th, 1628, he preached a Sermon on John xxi. 17. at the consecration of his uncle to the bishopric of Carlisle at Ely House in Hoiborn which was printed at London, 1629, in 8vo, and involved him in a short controversy with Mr. Vicars, a friend of his, who blamed him for a leaning towards Arminianism. In 1633 he published his “Answer to a late Popish Pamphlet, entitled, Charity mistaken.” The cause was this A Jesuit who went by the name of Edward Knott, but whose true name was Matthias Wilson, had published in 1630, a little book in 8vo, called “Charity mistaken, with the want whereof Catholicks are unjustly charged, for affirming, as they do with grief, that Protestancy un repented destroies Salvation.” Dr. Potter published an answer to this at Oxford, 1633, in 8vo, with this title: “Want of Charitie justly charged on all such Romanists as dare (without truth or modesty) affirme, that Protestancie destroy eth Salvation; or, an Answer to a late Popish pamphlet, intituled, Charity mistaken, &c.” The second edition revised and enlarged, was printed at London, 1634, in 8vo. Prynne observes, that bishop Laud, having perused the first edition, caused some things to be omitted in the second. It is dedicated to King Charles I. and in the dedication Dr. Potter observes, that it was “undertaken in obedience to his majesty’s particular commandment.

In 1635 he was promoted to the deanery of Worcester, having before had a promise of a canonry of Windsor, which he never enjoyed. In 1640 he was vice-chancellor of the university of Oxford, in the execution of which office he met with some trouble from the members of the long parliament. Upon breaking out of the civil wars, he sent all his plate to the king, and declared, that he would rather, like Diogenes, drink in the hollow of his hand, than that his majesty should want; and he afterwards suffered much for the royal cause. In consideration of this, upon the death of Dr. W r alter Balcanqual, he was nominated to the deanery of Durham in January 1645-6; but was prevented from being installed by his death, which happened at his college March the 3d following. He was | interred about the middle of the chapel there and over his grave was a marble monument fastened to the north wall, at the expence of his widow Elizabeth, daughter of Dr. Charles Sonibanke, some time canon of Windsor, afterwards wife of Dr. Gerard Langbaine, who succeeded Dr. Potter in the provostship of Queen’s college. He was a person esteemed by all that knew him to be learned and religious exemplary in his behaviour and discourse, courteous in his carriage, and of a sweet and obliging nature, and comely presence. But he was more especially remarkable for his charity to the poor; for though he had a wife and many children, and expected daily to be sequestered, yet he continued his usual liberality to them, having, on hearing Dr. Hammond’s sermon at St. Paul’s, been per* suaded of the truth of that divine’s assertion, that charity to the poor was the way to grow rich. He translated from Italian into English, “Father Paul’s History of the Quarrels of Pope Paul V. with the State of Venice,London, 1626, 4to and left several Mss. prepared for the press, one of which, entitled “A Survey of the Platform of Predestination,” falling into the hands of Dr. William Twisse, of Newbury, was answered by him. This subject perhaps is more fully discussed in his controversy with Mr. Vicars, which was republished at Cambridge in 1719, in a “Collection of Tracts concerning Predestination and Providence.” The reader to whom this “Collection” may not be accessible, will find an interesting extract, from Dr.Potter’s part, in Dr. Wordsworth’s “Ecclesiastical Biography,” vol. V. p. 504, &c. Chillingworth likewise engaged in the controversy against Knott.

Dr. Potter had a son, Charles, who was born at Oxford in 1633, and admitted a student of Christ Church in 1647, but after completing his master’s degree, he left the university, and when abroad with James Croits, afterwards created duke of Monmouth, he embraced the Roman Catholic religion. He was afterwards one of the gentlemen ushers to his great uncle, Dr. Barnabas Potter, bishop of Carlisle. The “Theses Quaclragesiiriales in scholis Oxoniensibus publice pro forma discussae,” Oxon, 1649, 12mo, was published with his name, but the real author was his college tutor, Mr. Thomas Severn. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. II. Ge. Dict. Fuller’s Woithies.