Kettlewell, John

, an English divine, remarkable for piety and learning, was born at North-Allerton in Yorkshire, March 10, 1653. He was grounded in classical learning in the free-school of that town, and sent to St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, in 1670. Five years after, he was chosen fellow of Lincoln college, through the interest of Mr. George Hickes, who was fellow of the same, where he became eminent as a tutor. He entered into orders as soon as he was of sufficient age, and distinguished himself early by an uncommon knowledge in divinity. He was very young when he wrote his celebrated book, entitled “Measures of Christian Obedience:” he composed it in 1678, though it was not published till 1681. Dr. Hickes, to whom he submitted it for correction, advised him to dedicate it to bishop Compton, intending, by that means, to have him settled in London and, accordingly, it came out at first with a dedication to his lordship but when that prelate appeared in arms against James II. Kettlewell gave orders to have the dedication razed out of the copies unsold, and also to have it omitted in the subsequent editions. In the mean time, this book occasioned him to be so much taken notice of, that the old countess of Bedford, mother of the unfortunate William lord Russel, appointed him, on that account, to be one of her domestic chaplains; and a greater favour he received, upon the same consideration, from Simon lord Digby, who presented him, July 1682, to the vicarage of Coleshill in Warwickshire. After he had continued above seven years at this place, a great alteration happened in his condition and circumstances; for, at the Revolution, being one of those conscientious men who refused to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to king William and queen Mary, he was deprived of his living in 1690, However, he did not spend the remainder of his days in indolence; but, retiring to London with his wife, whom he had married in 1685, he continued to write and publish books, as he had done during his residence in the country. There, amongst other learned men, he was particularly happy in the friendship of Mr. Nelson, with whom he concerted the “Model of a fund of charity for the needy | suffering, that is, the nonjuring, clergy:” but being naturally of a tender and delicate frame of body, and inclined to a consumption, he fell into that distemper in his 42d year, and died April 12, 1695, at his lodgings in Gray’s-inn Jane. He was buried, three days after, in the same grave where archbishop Laud was before interred, in the parish church of Allhallows- Barking, where a neat marble monument is erected to his memory. Mr. Nelson, who must needs have known him very well, has given this great and noble character of him, in a preface to his “Five Discourses/' &c. a piece printed after his decease” He was learned without pride wise and judicious without cunning; he served at the altar without either covetousness or ambition he was devout without affectation sincerely religious without moroseness courteous and affable without flattery or mean compliances just without rigour charitable without vanity and heartily zealous for the interest of religion without faction.“His works were collected and printed in 1718, in two volumes, folio they are all upon religious subjects, unless his” Measures of Christian Obedience,“and some tracts upon” New Oaths,“and the” Duty of Allegiance," &c. should be rather considered as of a political nature. 1


Memoirs of the Life of, 1718, 8vo, a very curious work, which comprizes a history of the nonjuring clergy and their proceedings.—Ath. Ox. vo. II.— Gen. Dict.—Biog. Brit.—Birch’s Tillotson.