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an extraordinary enthusiast in the seventeenth century, was born

, an extraordinary enthusiast in the seventeenth century, was born in London in 1582, descended from the family of Vicars in Cumberland. He was educated in Christ’s hospital, London, and afterwards was a member of Queen’s college, Oxford, but whether he took his degrees, Wood has rppt discovered. After leaving college he went to London, and became usher of Christ’s hospital, which place he held till towards the close of his life. It does not appear that he was a preacher, although most of his writings concern the religious controversies of the times Upon the commencement of the rebellion, “he showed his great forwardness,” says Wood, “for presbyterianism, hated all people that loved obedience, and affrighted many of the weaker sort, and others, from having any agreement with the king’s party, by continually inculcating into their heads strange stories of God’s wrath against the cavaliers. Afterwards, when the independents became predominant, he manifested great enmity against them, especially after the king’s death.” Foulis, in his “History of Plots,” says that “he could out-scold the boldest face in Billingsgate, especially if kings, bishops, organs, or maypoles, were to be the objects of his zealous indignation.” This indeed is a pretty just character of John Vicars’s writings, which form a store-house of the abusive epithets and gross personal reflections which passed between the lower order of sectaries in that period of confusion. The title of his work against John Goodwin, will afford a good specimen of John’s language. This was published in 1648, “Coleman-street Conclave visited; and that grand impostor, the schismatics’ cheater-in-chief (who hath long slily lurked therein) truly and duly discovered; containing a most palpable and plain display of Mr. John Goodwin’s self-conviction (under his own hand- writing), and of the notorious heresies, errors, malice, pride, and hypocrisy, of this most huge Garagantua in falsely pretended piety, to the lamentable misleading of his too credulous soul-murdered proselytes of Coleman-street, and elsewhere; collected principally out of his own big-braggadochio wave-like swelling and swaggering writings, full fraught with six-footed terms, and fleshlie rhetorical phrases, far more than solid and sacred truths, and may fitly serve (if it be the Lord’s will) like Belshazzar’s hand-writing on the wall of his conscience, to strike terror and shame into his own soul and shameless face, and to undeceive his most miserably cheated, and iuchanted or be-witched followers.” This is accompanied by a portrait of Goodwin (the only one mentioned by Granger, and of course in great request) with a windmill over his head, and a weather-cock upon it; the devil is represented blowing the sails; and there are other emblems, significant of Goodwin’s fickleness. Vicars died Aug. 12, 1652, in the seventy-second year of his age, and was buried in Christ church, Newgate-street. Wood has given a list of sixteen of his writings, the most curious of which is his “Parliamentary Chronicle.” This is still esteemed useful, and being scarce, is generally sold at a very high price. It was printed at different times under the following titles: 1. “God in the Molint; or England’s Remembrancer, being the first and second part of a Parliamentary Chronicle,1644, 4to. 2. “God’s Arke overtopping the World’s waves; or, a third part of a Parliamentary Chronicle,1646. 3. “The Burning-bush not consumed; or the fourth and last part of a Parliamentary Chronicle,1646. These were then published together, under the title of “Magnalia Dei Anglicana, or, England’s Parliamentary Chronicle,1646. Vicars was also a poet, and in the “Censura Literaria,” we have an account and specimen of a work of this kind entitled “Mischief’s Mysterie; or, Treason’s Master-piece; the powder-plot, invented by hellish malice; prevented by heavenly mercy truly related, and from the Latin of the learned and reverend Dr. Herring, translated, and very much dilated by John Vicars,1617. At the end of this are some smaller poems.