Davenport, John

, elder brother of Christopher just mentioned, was born at Coventry in 1597, and sent from thence with his brother to Merton-college in 1613; but while Christopher went to Doway, and became a catholic, John went to London, and became a puritan. He was minister of St. Stephen’s in Coleman-street, and esteemed by his brethren a person of excellent gifts in preaching, and in other qualities belonging to a divine. About 1630 he was appointed one of the feoffees for the buying in impropriations, which involved him in a dispute with archbishop Laud; but that project miscarrying, he left his pastoral charge about 1633, under pretence of opposition from the bishops, and went to Amsterdam. Here, endeavouring to be a minister in the English congregation, and to join with them in all duties, he was opposed by John Paget, an elder, on account of some difference between them about baptism; upon which he wrote, in his own defence, “A Letter to the Dutch Classis, containing a just complaint against an unjust doer; wherein is declared the miserable slavery and bondage that the English church at | Amsterdam is now in, by reason of the tyrannical government and corrupt doctrine of Mr. John Paget, their minister,” Amst. 1634. Two or three more pieces relating to this controversy were published by him afterwards; and such were his parts and learning, that he drew away from them many of their congregation, to whom he preached and prayed in private houses.

In the beginning of the rebellion, he returned into England, according to Wood, as other nonconformists did, and had a cure bestowed on him; but Neal says he came back in disguise, which is most probable, as this happened about 1637, when the power of the church was yet in force. In this year he went into New-England, and became a pastor of New-Haven there. He afterwards removed from thence to Boston in 1668, where he died March 15, 1670. He was the author of, a “Catechism containing the chief heads of the Christian religion,” which was printed at London in 1659; several sermons; the power of congregational churches asserted and vindicated; and of an exposition of the Canticles, which has never been published. Neal agrees that his notions of churchdiscipline were very rigid, and that he was a millenarian, being fully persuaded in his own mind of the thousand years’ personal reign of Christ upon earth; but adds, that notwithstanding this or any other singular notions he might entertain, he was one of the greatest men that New England ever enjoyed. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. II. Neal’s Histo-y of New England, vol. II,