Wagstaffe, Thomas

, a learned nonjuring divine and able writer, was of a gentleman’s family in Warwickshire, and was born February 15, 1645. He was educated at the Charterhouse school under Mr. Wood. In | Lent-­term 1660, he was admitted commoner of New-Inn at Oxford, where he took the degree of bachelor of arts October 15, 1664, and that of master June 20, 1G67. He was ordained deacon by Dr. John Hacket, bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, June 6, 1669; and priest by Dr. Joseph Henshaw, bishop of Peterborough, November 19, 1669. He was instituted to the rectory of Martins-Thorpe in the county of Rutland, by Joseph, bishop of Peterborough, November 19, 1669. After that he lived in the family of sir Richard Temple at Stow, in the county of Bucks, and entered upon the curacy of that church April 12, 1676. In December 1684, he was presented by king Charles II. and instituted by William, archbishop of Canterbury, to the chancellorship of the cathedral church of Lichfield, together with the prebendary of Alderwas in the same church. In March 1684 he was presented by Henry, bishop of London, to the rectory of St. Margaret Pattens in London. Upon the revolution, being deprived of his preferments for not taking the new oaths, he practised physic for many years afterwards in the City of London with good success, and wore his gown all the while. In February 1693 he vvas consecrated bishop by Dr. William Lloyd, bishop of Norwich, Dr. Francis Turner, bishop of Ely, and Dr. Thomas White, bishop of Peterborough, at the bishop of Peterborough’s lodgings, at the reverend Mr. Giffard’s house at Southgate, at which solemnity Henry earl of Clarendon was present Mr. Wagstaffe was consecrated suffragan of Ipswich, and Dr. Hickes at the same time suffragan of Thetford. Mr. Wagstaffe died October 17, 1712, in the sixty- seventh year of his age. He published few sermons, but wrote many pieces in defence of the constitution both in Church and State, with great strength of reason and perspicuity.

Among these are, 1. “A Letter to the author of the late Letter out of the country, occasioned by a former Letter to a member of the House of Commons, concerning the bishops lately in the Tower, and now under suspension.” 2. “An Answer to a late pamphlet entitled Obedience and Submission to the present Government demonstrated from bishop Overall’s Convocation Book: with a postscript in answer to Dr. Sherlock’s Case of Allegiance,London, 1690. 3. “An Answer to Dr. Sherlock’s Vindication of the Case of allegiance due to sovereign powers, which he made in reply to an Answer to a late pamphlet entitled | Obedience and Submission to the present government demonstrated from bishop Overall’s Convocation book, with a postscript in answer to Dr. Sherlock’s Case of Allegiance, &c,London, 1692. 4. “An Answer to a Letter to Dr. Sherlock written in vindication of that part of Josephus’s History, wtiicb gives the account of Jaddas’s submission to Alexander, against the Answer to the piece entitled Obedience and Submission to the present Government,” Lond. 1692. 5. “A Letter out of Suffolk to a friend in London, giving some account of the late sickness and death of Dr. William Sancroft late lord archbishop of Canterbury,London, 1694. 6. “A Letter out of Lancashire to a friend in London, giving some account of the tryals there. Together with some seasonable and proper remarks upon it; recommended to the wisdom of the Lords and Commons assembled in parliament,London, 1694. 7. “A Letter to a gentleman elected a knight of the shire to serve in the present parliament,London, 1694. 8. “Remarks on some late Sermons, and in particular on Dr. Sherlock’s sermon at the Temple December the 30th, 1694, in a letter to a friend. The second edition, with additions. Together with a letter to the author of a pamphlet entitled A Defence of the archbishop’s Sermon, &c. and several other Sermons, &c.London, 1695. 9. “An account of the proceedings in the House of Commons, in relation to the recoining the clipped money, and falling the price of guineas. Together with a particular list of the names of the members consenting and dissenting; in answer to a Letter out of the country,London, 1696. 10. “A Vindication of king Charles the Martyr; proving that his majesty was the author of ‘ Eixav BawiAjw, against a memorandum said to be written by the earl of Anglesey, and against the exceptions of Dr. Walker and others. To which is added a preface, wherein the bold and insolent assertions published in a passage of Mr.JBayle’s Dictionary relating to the present controversy are examined and confuted. The third edition, with large additions together with some original letters of king Charles the First, &c.” Lond. 1711, in 4to. The two former editions were in 8vo, the first printed in 1693, and the second in 1697. 11. “A Defence of the Vindication of king Charles the Martyr; justifying his majesty’s title to Efxcuv ’BacriMw, in answer to a late pamphlet entitled Amyntor,London, 1699. Mr. Wagstaffe also wrote prefaces before, I. “Symmons’s Restitutus: containing | two epistles, four whole sections or chapters, together with a postscript, and some marginal observations, &c. which were perfectly omitted in the first edition of Mr Symmons’s book, entitledA Vindication of king Charles I. and republished by Dr Hollingworth,“London, 1693. 2.” The devout Christian’s Manual, by Mr. Jones,“London, 1703. 3.A Treatise of God’s Government, and of the justice of his present dispensations in this world. By the pious, learned, and most eloquent Sulvian, a priest of Marseilles, who lived in the fifth century. Translated from the Latin by R. T. presbyter of the church of England,“London, 1700. These two pamphlets are also of Mr. Wagstaffe’s writing, 1.” The present state of Jacobitism in England,“ibid. 1700;A second part in answer to the first“which was written by the bishop of Salisbury, &c. &c. Wagstaflfe derived most credit from his endeavours to prove the” Eikon Basilike“to be the genuine production of king Charles; but on this subject we must refer our readers to the life of bishop Gauden, and especially the authorities there quoted. Mr. Wagstaffe had a son who resided at Oxford in the early part of his life, but afterwards went abroad, and resided at Rome many years in the character of protestant chaplain to the chevalier St. George, and afterwards to his son. He was there esteemed a man of very extensive learning. Dr. Townson was acquainted with him at Rome, both on his first and second tour in 1743 and 1768. He lived in a court near a carpenter’s shop, and upon Dr. Townson’s inquiring for him, the carpenter knew of no such person.” He did live somewhere in this yard some years ago.“I have lived here these thirty years, and no person of such a name has lived here in that time.“But on farther explanation, the carpenter exclaimed,” Oh, you mean // Predicatore; he lives there,“pointing to the place. This Mr. Wagstaffe died at Rome, Dec. 3, 1770, aged seventy-eight. Mr. Nichols has preserved some jeux d‘esprits, and some epitaphs written by him, and there is a letter of his to Tom Hearne, in the ’.' Letters written by Eminent Persons,” lately published at Oxford, 1813, 3 vols. 8vo. 1

1 Life in Gen. Dict. by Mr. Salmon. fiiojr. Brit. Nichols’s Bowyer.