Prideaux, John

, a learned English bishop, was born at Stowford, in the parish of Harford, near Ivy-bridge in Devonshire, Sept. 17, 1578, and was the fourth of seven sons of his father, who being in mean circumstances, with so large a family, our author, after he had learned to write and read, having a good voice, stood candidate for the place of parish-clerk of the church of Ugborow near Harford. Mr. Price informs us, that “he had a competitor for the office, who had made great interest in the parish for him* self, and was likely to carry the place from him. The parishioners being divided in thematter, did at length agree in this, being unwilling to disoblige either party, that the Lord’s-day following should be the day of trial; the one should tune the Psalm in the forenoon, the other in the afternoon; and he that did best please the people, should have the place. Which accordingly was done, and Prideaux lost it, to his very great grief and trouble. Upon, which, after he became advanced to one of the first dignities of the church, he would frequently make this reflection, saying,” If I could but have been clerk of Ugborow, I had never been bishop of Worcester.“Disappointed in this office, a lady of the parish, mother of sir Edmund Towel, maintained him at school till he had gained some knowledge of the Latin tongue, when he travelled to Oxford, and at first lived in a very mean station in Exetercollege, doing servile offices in the kitchen, and prosecuting his studies at his leisure hours, till at last he was taken notice of in the college, and admitted a member of it in act-term 1596, under the tuition of Mr. William Helme, B. D. On January the 31st, 1599, he took the degree of | Bachelor of Arts, and in 1602 was chosen probationer fellow of his college. On May the 11th, 1603, he proceeded Master of Arts, and soon after entered into holy orders. On May the 6th, 1611, he took the degree of Bachelor of Divinity; and the year following was elected rector of his college in the room of Dr. Holland; and June the 10th, the same year, proceeded Doctor of Divinity. In 1615, upon the advancement of Dr. Robert Abbot to the bishopric of Sarum, he was made regius professor of divinity, and consequently became canon of Christ-church, and rector of Ewelme in Oxfordshire; and afterwards discharged the office of vice-chancellor of the university for several years. In the rectorship of his college he behaved himself in such a manner, that it flourished more than any other in the university; more foreigners coming thither for the benefit of his instruction than ever was known; and in his professorship, says Wood,” he behaved himself very plausible to the generality, especially for this reason, that in his lectures, disputes, and moderatings (which were always frequented by many auditors), he shewed himself a stout champion against Socinus and Arminius. Which being disrelished by some who were then rising, and in authority at court, a faction thereupon grew up in the university between those called Puritans, or Calvinists, on the one side, and the Remonstrants, commonly called Arminians, on the other: which, with other matters of the like nature, being not only fomented in the university, but throughout the nation, all things thereupon were brought into confusion.“In 1641, after he had been twenty- six years professor, he was one of those persons of unblemished reputation, whom his majesty made bishops, on the application of the marquis of Hamilton, who had been one of his pupils. Accordingly, in November of that year, he was elected to the bishopric of Worcester, to which he was consecrated December the 19th following; but the rebellion was at that time so far advanced, that he received little or no profit from it, to his great impoverishment. For adhering stedfastly to his majesty’s cause, and pronouncing all those of his diocese, who took up arms against him, excommunicate, he was plundered, and reduced to such straits, that he was obliged to sell his excellent library. Dr. Gauden said of him, that he now became literally a helluo librorum, being obliged to turn his books >nto bread for his children. He seems to have borne this | barbarous usage with patience, and even good humour. On -one occasion, when a friend came to see bim, and asked him how he did? he answered,” Never better in my life, only I have too great a stomach, for 1 have eaten the little plate which the sequestrators left me; I have eaten a great library of excellent books; I have eaten a great deal of linen, much of my brass, some of my pewter, and now am come to eat my iron, and what will come next I know not." So great was his poverty about this time that he would have attended the conferences with the king at the Isle of Wight, but could not afford the means of travelling. Such was the treatment of this great and good man, one of the best scholars and ablest promoters of learning in the kingdom, at the hands of men who professed to contend for liberty and toleration.

Re died of a fever at Bredon in Worcestershire, at the house of his son-in-law, Dr. Henry Sutton, July the 20th, 1650, leaving to his children no legacy but “pious poverty, God’s blessing, and a father’s prayers,” as appears from his last will and testament. His body was attended to the grave by persons of all ranks and degrees, and was interred in the chancel of the church of Bredon. He was a man of very extensive learning; and Nath. Carpenter, in his “Geography delineated,” tells us, that “in him the heroical wits of Jewel, Rainolds, and Hooker, as united into one, seemed to triumph anew, and to have threatened a fatal blow to the Babylonish hierarchy.” He was extremely humble, and kept part of the ragged clothes in which he came to Oxford, in the same wardrobe where he lodged his rochet, in which he left that university. He was exemplary in his charity, and very agreeable in conversation. By his first wife, Mary, daughter of Dr. Taylor, burnt for the Protestant religion in the reign of queen Mary, he had several children; viz. William, a colonel in the service of king Charles I. and slain at the battle of Marston-moor in 1644; Matthias, a captain in the army of that king, who died at London 1646; and three other sons, who died in their infancy, and were buried in Exeteivcollege; and two daughters, viz. Sarah, married to William Hodges, archdeacon of Worcester, and rector of Ripple in Worcestershire; and Elizabeth, married to Dr. Henry Sutton, rector of Bredon in Worcestershire. Our author had for his second wife, Mary, daughter of | sir Thomas Reynel of West Ogwell in Devonshire, knt. Cleveland the poet wrote an elegy upon his death.

His son Matthias, above mentioned, was born in 1622, and admitted of Exeter-college in 1640, where he took his degrees in arts. He died at London in 1646. After his death was published, under his name, “An easy and compendious introduction for reading all sorts of Histories,” Oxon. 1648, 4to; reprinted 1655, with a “Synopsis of the Councils,” written by his father.

Dr.Prideaux’s works were, 1. “Tabulae ad Grammaticam Groecam Introductorioe,Oxford, 1608, 4to. 2. “Tirocinium ad Syllogismum cohtexendum.” 3. “Heptades Logicae, siveMonitaadamplioresTractatus introductoria.” These two last pieces were printed with the “Tabulae ad Grammaticam Graecam,” &c. Mr. David Lloyd observes, that our author’s Greek Grammar and Logick were both but a fortnight’s work. 4. “Castigatio cujusdam Circulatoris, qui R. P. Andream EudsBmon-Johannem Cydonium soc. Jesu seipsum nuncupat, opposita ipsius calumniis, in Epistola Isaaci Casauboni ad Frontonem Ducaeum,Oxford, 1614, 8vo. 5. “Alloquium sereniss. Reg. Jacobo Woodstochio habitum, 24 Aug. 1624,” in one sheet, 4to. 6. “Orationes novem inaugurates de totidem Theologiae apicibus, prout in promotione Doctorum Oxoniae publice proponebantur in Comitiis,Oxford, 1626, 4to. 7. “Lectiones decem de totidem Religionis Capitibus, praecipue hoc tempore controversis, prout publice habebantur Oxoiiiae in Vesperiis,Oxford, 1625, 4to. 8. “Lectiones 22, Orationes 13, Conciones 6, et O ratio ad Jacobum Regem,Oxford, 1648, folio. Among which are contained the preceding lectures, orations, and speeches to king James at Woodstock. 9. “Concio ad Artium Baccalaureos pro more habita in Ecclesia B. Marias Oxon. in die Cinerum in Act. ii. 22. Ann. 1616.” 10. “Fasciculus Controversiarum ad Juniorum aut occupatorum captum colligatus,” &c. Oxford, 1649, 1651, 4to. 11. “Theologiaa Scholasticae Syntagma Mnemonicum,Oxford, 1651. I2.“Conciiiorum Synopsis,” printed with the “Fasciculus.” 13. “Epistola de Episcopatu,” folio. 14. “Manuductio ad Theologiam Polemicam,Oxford, 1657, 8vo, published by Mr. Thomas Barlow, afterwards bishop of Lincoln, with a Latin Epistle before it in the name of the printer. 15. “Hypomnemata Logica, Rhetorica, Physica, Metaphysica,” &c. Oxford, 8vo. 16. Several Sermons, as, l.“A | Sermon at the consecration of Exeter-college Chapel,” on. Luke xix. 46, Oxford, 1625, 4to. 2nd, “Perez Uzzah, A Sermon before the king at Woodstock,” on 1 Samuel vi. 6, 7, Oxford, 1625, 4to. Both these sermons are printed with another volume, entitled, 17. “Twenty Sermons,Oxford, 1636, 4to. The two first are entitled, “Christ’s Counsel for ending Law-cases,” dedicated to his kinsman Edmund Prideaux, esq. 18. “Nine Sermons on several occasions,Oxford, 1641, 4to. 19. “A Synopsis of the Councils,” subjoined to “An easy and compendious Introduction to History,” published, as we have just noticed, in the name of his son Matthias Prideaux. 20. “Histories of Successions in States, Countries, or Families,” &c. Oxford, 1653. 21. “Euchologia or, The Doctrines of Practical Praying being a Legacy left to his daughters in private, directing them to such manifold uses of our Common Prayer Book, as may satisfy upon all occasions, without looking after new lights from extemporal flashes,” dedicated to his daughters, Sarah Hodges and Elizabeth Sutton, London, 1655, 8vo. 22. “The doctrine of Conscience, framed according to the form in the Common Prayer;” left as a legacy to his wife, containing many cases of conscience, and dedicated to Mrs. Mary Prideaux, relict of the Right Reverend Father in God John, late Lord Bishop of Worcester, by T. N.; London, 1656, 8vo. 23. “Sacred Eloquence or, The Art of Rhetoric, as it is laid down in Scripture,London, 1659, 8vo. 1

1 Wood’s Athenae and Annals. Prince’s Worthies. Walker’s Sufferings of the Clergy. Usher’s Lite and Letters, p. 399.~Fnller’s Worthies.