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one of the most learned and eminent nonconformists of the seventeenth

, one of the most learned and eminent nonconformists of the seventeenth century, was born at Lawrence Lydiard, in Somersetshire, in 1620. His father and grandfather were both clergymen, but of them we have no account, except that his father was settled at Whimpole in Devonshire, and sent his son to the freeschool at Tiverton. Here his progress was such that he was thought qualified to begin his academical studies at the age of fourteen, and about a year after, in 1635, he was entered of Wadham college, Oxford. From thence, in 1639, he removed to Hart-hall, where he took his bachelor’s degree in arts. Wood says, he was accounted in his college, “a hot-headed person,” a character very remote from that which he sustained throughout life, and when all eyes were upon him. After studying divinity, he was admitted to deacon’s orders by the celebrated Dr. Hall, bishop of Exeter, and although this was sooner than Mr. Man ton approved upon maturer thought, bishop Hall appears to have thought him duly qualified, and predicted that “he would prove an extraordinary person.” As he came into public life when principles of disaffection to the church were generally prevalent, it appears that he entered so far into the spirit of the times, as to be content with deacon’s orders, and to deny the necessity of those of the priest