Wells, Samuel

, a nonconformist divine, the son of Mr. William Wells, of St. Peter’s East, in Oxford, was born there August 18, 16 J 4, and brought up in Magdalen college, but is not mentioned by Wood. He commenced M. A. in 1636; married Mrs. Dorothy Doyley, of Auborn in Wilts, 1637, being the twenty-second year of his age. He was ordained Dec. 23, 1638, at which time he kept a school in Wandsworth. He was assistant to Dr. Temple,* at Battersea, in 1639. In the war-time, for their security, he removed his family into Fetter-lane, London, about 1644; and about that time was in the army, chaplain to Col. Essex. He was fixed minister at Remnam, in Berks, 1647, where his income is said to be 200l. per annum, but not above twenty families in the parish. He was invited to Banbury in Oxfordshire; accepted the offer, and settled there in 1649, though a place of less profit, namely, about 100l. per annum. His reason for leaving Remnam was, that he might do good to more souls. When the troubles were over, he had the presentation of Brinkworth, said to be about 300l. per annum, but declined it for the former reason. When the Bartholomew-Act displaced him, he remitted 100l. due from Banbury; and | afterwards would cheerfully profess, “that he had not one carking thought about the support of his family, though he had then ten children, and his wife big with another.” The Five-Mile act removed him to Dedington, about five miles distant from Banbury, but as soon as the times would permit, he returned to Banbury, and there continued till his death. There Mr. (afterwards Dr.) White, of Kidderminster, the church minister, was very friendly and familiar with him, frequently paying each other visits; and one speech of his, when at Mr. Weils’s, is still remembered. “Mr. Wells,” said he, “I wonder how you do to live so comfortably. Methinks you, with your numerous family, live more plentifully on the providence of God than I can with the benefits of the parish.” Mr Wells was of a cheerful disposition, and of a large and liberal heart to all, but especially to good uses. It was the expression of one who had often heard him preach, “That his auditory’s ears were chained to his lips.” As he used to hear Mr. White in public, so Mr. White, though secretly, went to hear him in private; and once, upon his taking leave, he was heard to say, “Well, I pray God to bless your labours in private, and mine in public.” There is a small piece of Mr. Weils’s printed; the title, “A Spirituall Remembrancer,” sold by Cockrell. >1