Byam, Henry

, D.D. a learned preacher and loyalist in the seventeenth century, the son of Laurence Byam, of Luckham, or East Luckham, near Dunster, in Somersetshire, was born there Aug. 31, 1580, and in Act term 1697, was entered of Exeter college, Oxford, where, in 1699, he was elected a student of Christ-church. In both colleges his application was such as to make him be considered as one of the greatest ornaments x)f the university; and when he took orders, one of the most acute and eminent preachers of the age. After taking the degree of B. D. in 1612, he succeeded his father in the rectory of Luckham, and a Mr. Fleet in that of Salworthy, adjoining. In 1631 he became a prebendary of Exeter, and on the meeting of parliament, was unanimously chosen by the clergy of his diocese, to be their clerk in convocation. In the beginning of the rebellion he was one of the first who were apprehended for their loyalty, but making his escape, joined the king at Oxford, where he was, with others, created D. D. In the king’s cause his zeal and that of his family could not fail to render him obnoxious. He had not only assisted in raising men and horse for his majesty, but of his five sons, four were captains in the army. His estate, therefore, both clerical and private, was exposed to the usual confiscations; and to add to his sufferings, his wife and daughter, in endeavouring to escape to Wales by sea, were both drowned. When the prince Charles, afterwards Charles II. fled from England, Dr. Byam accompanied him first to the island of Scilly, afterwards to that of Jersey, where he officiated as | chaplain until the garrison was taken by the parliamentary forces. He contrived afterwards to live in obscurity until the restoration, when he was made canon of Exeter, and prebendary of Wells, but we do not find that his services were rewarded by any higher preferment. He died June 16, 1669, and was buried in the chancel of the church at Luckham, where a monument with an inscription by Dr. Hamnet Ward was erected to his memory. His works were: “Thirteen Sermons, most of them preached before his majesty Charles II. in his exile,” Lond. 1675, 8vo These were published after his death by Hamnet Ward, M. D. vicar of Sturminster-Newton-Castle, in Dorsetshire, with some account of the author. Dr. Byam was the father of the governor alluded to in Southern’s play of Oroonoko, whom the profligate Mrs. Behn endeavoured to stigmatize from private pique. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. II. Walker’s Sufferings of the Clergy, p. 29. Private commuication from a descendant.