Wilkinson, John

, brother of the rector of Waddesdon, first-mentioned, and uncle to the two Henrys, was born in Halifax, and educated at Oxford, where he was very celebrated. He became fellow of Magdalen college, and in 1605, when Henry, prince of Wales, was | matriculated of Magdalen college, Mr. Wilkinson, then B. D. was appointed his tutor, as high a mark of respect as could well be paid, and a striking proof of the respect in which he was then held. In the same year Mr. Wilkinson was made principal of Magdalen-hall; and Wood says, that under his government, in 1624, and before, there were three hundred students in the hall, of which number were forty or more masters of arts, but, Wood adds, “all mostly inclining to Calvinism.” On the commencement of the rebellion, being of the same sentiments as his relations beforementioned, he left Oxford in 1643, and joined the parliamentary party. After the surrender of the city of Oxforo! to the parliamentary forces in 1646, he returned to Magdalen-hall, and resumed his office as principal until 1648, when he resigned it on being advanced to be president of Magdalen-college. He had the year before been appointed one of the visitors of the university. He did not, however, live long to enjoy any of these honours, for he died Jan. 2, 1649, and was interred in the church of Great Milton in Oxfordshire. It does not appear that Dr. John Wilkinson published any thing; the greater part of his life he spent as the governor of the two societies of Magdalenhall and Magdalen-college. Notwithstanding his reputation in his early years, Wood gives him the character of being “generally accounted an illiterate, testy, old creature, one that for forty years together had been the sport of the boys, and constantly yoked with Dr. Kettle: a person of more beard than learning, &c.” It is unnecessary to copy more of this character, which agrees so ill with what Wood says of him in his account of Magdalen-hall, that we are almost inclined to think he is speaking of another person. There is much confusion in some of the accounts given of these Wilkinsons, and we are not quite sure that we have been enabled to dispell it; but Wood so expressly mentions a John Wilkinson Magdalen-hall, as one of the visitors of Oxford, and afterwards a physician, that we suspect he has mixed the characters of the two. On this account the story of Dr. John Wilkinson having robbed the college of some money, which is related by Fuller and Heylin, must remain doubtful, for Wood attributes it to Henry Wilkinson, the vice-president. 1


Alb. Ox. vols. 1 and II Wood’s Annals and History of Oxford. Ward’s Lives of the Greshana professors. Fuller’s Ch. Hist.