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the most valuable contributor to ecclesiastical history and biography

, the most valuable contributor to ecclesiastical history and biography that ever appeared in this country, is said to have been of German extraction. His father John Strype, or Van Stryp, was a native of Brabant, and fled to England for the sake of religion. He was a merchant and silk-throwster. His son is said to have been born at Stepney, Nov. 1, 1643, but he calls himself a native of London, and his baptism does not occur in the register of Stepney, though the names of some of his brothers and sisters are there entered, and his father lies buried in the church-yard. The reason why he calls himself a Londoner probably was, that he was born in Strype’s yard, formerly in Stepney, but afterwards in the parish of Christ-church, Spitalfields. After being educated in St. Paul’s school for six years, he was matriculated of Jesuscollege, Cambridge, July 5, 1662, whence he removed to Catherine-hall, where he took his degree of A. B. in 1665, and that of M. A. in 1669, His first preferment was the donative, or perpetual curacy of Theydon-Boys in the county of Essex, conferred upon him July 14, 1669; but he quitted it a few months after, on being appointed minister of Low-Leyton in the same county, which he retained all his life. The circumstances attending this preferment were rather singular, Although he enjoyed it above sixtyeight years, and administered the sacrament on Christmasday, for sixty-six years successively, yet he was never instituted nor inducted. The reason assigned for this irregularity is, that the living being small, the patrons allowed the parish to choose a minister. Accordingly Mr. Strype having, on the vacancy which occurred in 1669, preached before them, he was duly elected to be their curate and lecturer, and they entered into a subscription-bond for his maintenance, promising to pay the sums annexed to their names, “provided he continues the usual custom of his predecessor in preaching twice every Sunday.” The subscriptions in all amounted to 69l. Many years after this, viz in 1674, he was licensed by Dr. Henchman, then bishop of London, to preach and expound the word of God in the parish church of Low-Leyton, and to perform the full office of priest and curate there, during the vacancy of the vicarage, which license, and no other instrument, he used to exhibit at the visitations, as late as 1720. In 1677, as he seemed secure of his possession, he rebuilt the vicarage, with 140l. of his own money, aided by contributions from his parishioners, and expended considerable sums also in the repairs of the chancel. After his death, his executors derived some advantage from the manner in which he held this living; for, being sued by his successor for dilapidations, only 40l. could be recovered, as the plea was, that he had never been instituted nor inducted, and that the parsonage- house was built and ought to be repaired by the parish. It is probable that the quiet possession he so long enjoyed was owing to the high esteem in which he was held by the heads of the church, for his eminent services as a historian. Soon after he came to reside at Low-Leyton, he got access to the valuable manuscripts of sir Michael Hickes, knt. once of Ruckholt’s in this parish, and secretary to William lord Burleigh, and began from them some of those collections which he afterwards published. It appears, however, that he extended his inquiries much farther, and procured access to every repository where records of any kind were kept; made numerous and indeed voluminous transcripts, and employed many years in comparing, collating, and verifying facts, before he published any thing. At the same time he carried on an extensive correspondence with archbishop Wake, and the bishops Atterbury, Burnet, Nicolson, and other eminent clergymen or laymen, who had a taste for the same researches as himself. Towards his latter days, he had the sinecure of Terring, in Sussex, given him by archbishop Tenison, and was lecturer of Hackney till 1724, when he resigned that lecture. When he became old and infirm, he resided at Hackney with Mr. Harris an apothecary, who had married his granddaughter, and there he died Dec. 11, 1737, at the very advanced age of ninety-four , one instance at least, that the most indefatigable literary labour is not inconsistent with health.