Wilkinson, Henry

, denominated sometimes Junior, but commonly called Dean Harry, to distinguish him from the preceding, was the son of the rev. William Wilkinson of Adwick, or Adwickstreet, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the brother of the first Henry Wilkinson, rector of Waddesdon; and consequently cousin to the preceding Long Harry. He was born at Adwick in 1616, and was educated in grammar at a school in All Saints parish, Oxford. He entered a commoner of Magdalen-hall in 1631, took the degrees in arts, was admitted into holy orders, and became a noted tutor, and moderator or dean of Magdalen-hall. Being of the same principles with his relations, he quitted the university in 1642, and going to London, took the covenant, and became a frequent preacher. On the surrender of Oxford to the parliamentary forces, he returned thither, and was created bachelor of divinity, and made principal of his hall, and moral philosophy reader of the university. He also took the degree of D. D. and became a frequent preacher at the different churches in Oxford. As the governor of a society, Wood ipeaks of him very highly, and his character indeed in this respect was so well established, that he might have remained principal, if he could have conformed. He suffered considerably afterwards for nonconformity, while endeavouring to preach at Buckminster in Leicestershire, Gosfield in Essex, Sible-Headingham, and finally at Connard near Sudbury in Suffolk, where he died May 13, 1690. He was buried at Milding near Lavenham, in Suffolk. Wood says “he was a zealous person in the way he professed, but overswayed more by the principles of education than | reason. He was very courteous in speech and carriage, communicative of his knowledge, generous and charitable to the poor; and so public-spirited (a rare thing, adds Wood, in a presbyterian), that he always minded the common good, more than his own concerns.” He was a considerable benefactor to Magdalen -hall, having built the library, and procured a good collection of books for it.

He published, in Latin, various “Condones,” and “Orationes,” delivered at Oxford on public occasions; and several English sermons, besides the following, 1. “Catalogus librorum in I3ibl. Aul. Magd. Oxon.Oxford, 1661, 8vo. 2. “The doctrine of contentment briefly explained, &c.” Lond. 1671, 8vo. 3. “Characters of a sincere heart, and the comforts thereof,” ibid. 1674, 8vo. 4. “Two Treatises concerning God’s Atl-Sufficiency, &c.” ibid. 1681, 8vo. In this last work we find a singular anecdote, which he says was communicated to him by archbishop Usher, with whom he was well acquainted. Our readers probably know that the Marian persecution never reached Ireland, and if the following be true, the Irish protestants had a very narrow escape from that tyranny. “A commission de Hereticis comburendis (for burning of heretics) was sent to Ireland from queen Mary, by a certain doctor, who, at his lodgings at Chester, made his boast of it. One of the servants in the inn, being a well-wisher to protestants, took notice of the words, and found out a method to get away the commission, which he kept in his own hands. When the commissioner came to Ireland, he was entertained with great respect. After some time he appeared before the lords of the council, and then opened his box to shew his commission, but there was nothing in it but a pack of cards. On this he was committed to prison and threatened exceedingly; but upon giving security he was released, returned to England, and obtained a new commission; as soon, however, as he came to Chester, the report arrived of queen Mary’s death, which stopt his farther journey.1


Ath. Ox. vol. II. —Calamy.