WOBO: Search for words and phrases in the texts here...

Enter either the ID of an entry, or one or more words to find. The first match in each paragraph is shown; click on the line of text to see the full paragraph.

Currently only Chalmers’ Biographical Dictionary is indexed, terms are not stemmed, and diacritical marks are retained.

a distinguished English gentleman, son of John Churchill, esq.

, a distinguished English gentleman, son of John Churchill, esq. of Minthorn in Dorsetshire, by Sarah, daughter and coheiress of sir Henry Winston, of Standiston in Gloucestershire, was descended from a very ancient family, and born at Wooton Glanville in Dorsetshire, or, according to Wood, at London, in 1620. He was sent to St. John’s college in Oxford when he was scarce sixteen years of age, where he made an uncommon progress in his studies; but, on account of the civil commotions which arose soon after, was obliged to leave the university before he had taken a degree. He engaged on the side of the king, for which he suffered severely in his fortune; and having married a daughter of sir John Drake of Ashe in Devonshire, was forced to seek refuge in that gentleman’s house, where many of his children were born. At the restoration he represented Weyinouth in the parliament which met in May 8, 1661. In 1663, Charles II. conferred on him the honour of knighthood; and soon after the foundation of the Royal Society, he was, for his Icnown love of letters and conversation with learned men, elected a member of it in Dec. 1664. In the same year he was appointed one of the commissioners of the court of claims in Ireland; and, upon his return, one of the clerks comptrollers of the green cloth. Notwithstanding his engagements in these public offices, he found time to draw up a kind of political essay upon the history of England, which was published in folio, 1675, under the title of “Divi Britannici, being a remark upon the lives of all the kings of this isle, from the year of the world 2855, unto the year of grace 1660.” It was dedicated to Charles II; and in the dedication the author takes notice, that having served his majesty’s father as long as he could with his sword, he spent a great part of those leisure hours, which were forced upon him by his misfortunes, in defending that prince’s cause, and indeed' the cause of monarchy itself, with his pen: and he franklyowns, that he considered his work as the funeral oration of that deceased government, or rather, as his title speaks it, the apotheoses of departed kings. We are told by Wood, that there were some passages in this work about the king’s power of raising money without parliament, which gave such offence to the members then sitting, that the author had them cancelled, and the book reprinted. Nicolsou speaks very slightly of this performance, and represents it as “only giving the reader a diverting view of the arms and exploits of our kings down to the restoration in 1660;” but it is very accurate as to dates and authorities.