Wilkinson, Henry

, one of the sons of the preceding, and called Long Harry, to distinguish him from | a contemporary and cousin of the same names, who was called Dean Harry, was born at Waddesdon in 1609, and in 1622 became a commoner of Magdalen-hall, where, making great proficiency in his studies, he took the degrees in arts, became a noted tutor, master of the schools, and divinity reader in his hall. In 1638, he was admitted B.D. and preached frequently in and near Oxford, “not,” says Wood, “without girds against the actions, and certain men of the times,” by which we are to understand that he belonged to that growing party which was hostile to the ecclesiastical establishment. Of this he gave so decided a proof in a sermon preached at St. Mary’s in Sept. 1640, in which he inveighed against the ceremonies, &c. that he was ordered to recant, and a form drawn up accordingly. But as he peremptorily refused to sign this, well knowing that the power of the church was undermined, he was suspended from preaching, &C; within the university and itsprecincts, according to the statute. Immediately, however, on the meeting of the Long parliament, he complained to the House of Commons of the treatment he had met with from the vice chancellor: and the committee of religion not only took off his suspension, but ordered his sermon to be printed, as suiting their views.

With this encouragement Wilkinson went on preaching what he pleased without fear, but removed to London, as the better scene of action, where he was made minister of St. Faith’s, under St. Paul’s, and one of the assembly of divines. He was also a frequent preacher before the parliament on their monthly fasts, or on thanksgiving days. In 1645 he was promoted to the rectory of St. Dunstan’s in the West.*


Calamy says, St. Dunstan’s in the East.

Soon after he was constituted one of the six ministers appointed to go to Oxford (then in the power of parliament), and to establish preachings and lectures upon presbyterian principles and forms. He was also made one of the visitors for the ejection of all heads of houses, fellows, students, &c. who refused compliance with the now predominant party. For these services he was made a senior fellow of Magdalen college (which, Wood says, he kept till he married a holy woman called the Lady Carr), a canon of Christ church, doctor of divinity, and, after Cheynel’s departure, Margaret professor. Of all this he was deprived at the restoration, but occasionally preached | in or about London, as opportunity offered, particularly at Clapham, where he died in September 1675, and his body, after lying in state in Drapers’ hall, London, was buried with great solemnity in the church of St. Dunstan’s. His printed works are entirely “Sermons” preached before the parliament, or in the “Morning Exercise” at Cripplegate and Southwark, and seem to confirm part of the character Wood gives of him, that “he was a good scholar, always a close student, an excellent preacher (though his voice was shrill and whining),” yet, adds Wood, “his sermons were commonly full of dire and confusion, especially while the rebellion lasted.1

Ath. Ox. vol. II. —Calamy.