Mapletoft, Robert

, an English divine, was born at North Thoresby in the county of Lincoln, in the beginning of 1610, of which place his father, Henry Mapletoft, was many years rector. He was educated at the free grammar school of Louth, and admitted of Queen’s college in Cambridge. When he had taken the degree of B. A. he removed to Pembroke hall, and was there made fellow January 6, 1630; and in or about 1633 was appointed chaplain to bishop Wren. He was one of the university preachers in 1641, and was some time after one of the proctors of the university. In 1644 (being then bachelor in divinity) he was ejected from his fellowship for not taking the covenant. After this he retired, and lived privately among his friends, and particularly with sir Robert Shirley in Leicestershire, where he became acquainted with Dr. Sheldon, who became archbishop of Canterbury. He had afterwards a private congregation in Lincoln, where he used to officiate according to the Liturgy of the church of England: this had like to have produced him much trouble; but it being found that he had refused a considerable sum of money offered him by his congregation, he escaped prosecution. On the restoration he returned to Cambridge, and was re-instated in his fellowship, and was presented by the Crown, August 1, 1660, on the death of Dr. Newell, to the prebend of Clifton in Lincoln cathedral, to which he was installed August 23, 1660: and then resigning it, he was also on the same day installed to the sub-deanery of the same church, which he resigned in 1671; and about the same time he became rector of Clayworth in Nottinghamshire, which living he afterwards exchanged for the vicarage of Soham, in Cambridgeshire. In 1661 he resigned his fellowship, and about that time was invited by archbishop Sheldon to be chaplain to the duchess of York, then supposed to be inclining to popery, and in want of a person of Dr. Mapletoft’s primitive stamp to keep her steady to her religion; but he could not be prevailed upon to accept the appointment. In 1664 he was elected master of Pembroke hall, and became doctor in divinity, and was by the king, August 7, 1667, promoted to the deanery | of Ely. He served the office of vice-chancellor of the university of Cambridge in 1671, and died at Pembroke hall, August 20, 1677. His remains, according to his own desire, were deposited in a vault in the chapel of that college, near the body of bishop Wren, the founder of it, his honoured friend and patron, without any memorial.

Dr. Mapletoft lived very hospitably at Ely, and wherever he resided, and was esteemed for the many pious and charitable acts in his life-time; and, at his death, after many gifts, legacies, and charitable donations, he bequeathed to the university 100l. towards purchasing Golius’s library of Oriental books for the university library; and in case that design was not executed, then to some permanent university use, at the discretion of the vicechancellor and the two professors of divinity; lOOl. to poor widows, chiefly clergymen’s. His benefactions to the church of Ely were, to the dean and chapter for ever, all his close called hundred acres in the Wash in the town of Coveney, for the increase of the Dinging men’s stipends, and on condition that they should frequent early prayers in the cathedral. He also bequeathed to the same church his library of books, and 100l. toward fitting up a place to receive them, and furnishing it with more books; to each of the prebendaries a ring of 20,?. to each minor canon and schoolmaster 20s. to each singing-man and verger 10s. and to the choristers 5s. each.

In a codicil to his last will, signed 17th day of August, 1677, he gives to the use of the town of North Thoresby, in the county of Lincoln, his two cottages and one messuage, with all his lands in the same town and fields of the same for ever, to be settled upon trustees, for and towards the maintenance of one fit person to teach the scholars there to read, to learn them their catechism, and instruct them in it, to write, to cast accounts, and to teach tuem their accidence, and to make them fit for the grammar school, according to the rules and orders which he or his executors should prescribe; and also gives all those his lands, meadow, and pasture in Saltfleetby to the use of the town of Louth for ever, for and towards the maintenance of one fit person to teach the children there in like manner as in his gift to North Thoresby, per omnia. He gives likewise to the master, fellows, and scholars of Pembroke Hall, lands in Coveney for ever, on condition, that they pay yearly for ever to two poor scholars to be called his | exhibitioners, 4l. each, and that they lay out yearly 4bs, in good books for the library of the said college. 1


Ward’s Gtesham Professors bt cliiefly his life in the —Gent. Mag. vol. LXXVII.