Baptist History Homepage

Baptist Authors and History, 1527-1800
By Joseph Angus, D. D.


     BOOKS and public documents published against Baptists throw more light on the early history of the body in England than any extant Church records.


     The earliest General Baptist churches of which any history is known were founded about 1611-14 by Thomas Helwisse, in London, Tiverton, Coventry, &c.; and the earliest Particular Baptist church by John Spilsbury, at Wapping, in 1633. There are traditions of earlier churches. The Baptist Society at Shrewsbury is said to have been formed in 1627; that at Bickenhall (now at Hatch), near Taunton, in 1630 (Thompson, quoted by Toulmin, Neal, iii., p. 352). Even in 1457 there is said to have been a congregation of this kind at Chesterton (Robinson's Claude, ii., p. 54). The earliest books in defence of their views were written by John Smyth in 1608-9. More than seventy years earlier, however, literature supplies us with evidence of the existence and activity of Baptists in England [my emphasis -jrd]. In 1548 John Vernon translated and published Bullinger's "Holesome Antidote against the Pestilent Sect of the Anabaptists." Three years later William Turner, Doctor of Physick, devysed "a Triacle against the poyson - lately stirred up agayn by the furious Secte of the Anabaptists," London, 1551. These are the earliest English Antibaptist books I know. At Hocking and at Faversham ministers and whole congregations were seized by the officers of the law; and Strype notes that these were the first bodies that made separation from the Reformed Church in England. This occurred at least as early as 1548. Within ten years inquiries were made for Anabaptists, as we find from "Articles of Visitation," issued by Bonner in Kent, by Gardiner at Cambridge, and by Dr. Chedsey in Essex. In 1589 Dr. R. Some issued "A Godly Treatise," chiefly against Henry Barrow and John Greenwood, and other Puritans, whom he charges with Anabaptistical errors. Earlier still we have evidence of their activity and numbers in the fires of martyrdom that burnt so fiercely at the beginning of that century. Latimer speaks of 300 of them in one town. In 1538 a commission was issued to the Bishops of the Southern Province to inquire after Anabaptists and to punish them. Froude tells us, with noble indignation, how fourteen were done to death because they "were faithful to their conscience." The members of the "Pilgrimage of Grace" appealed to Henry VIII that "the heresies of Luther and of the Anabaptists, should be annihilated and destroyed." For a hundred years, therefore, before we hear of Baptist Churches, we read of proclamations against Anabaptists, and of the persecution, banishment, and death, of many in the Southern counties of England, and during the reigns of all the Tudors. These proclamations, it is true, were issued in part against Baptists who came from Holland and Germany, and were thought to hold erroneous doctrines on other points; but, in the Instructions to the Commissioners, they are directed also how to deal with those who denied only infant baptism, and held on other points the common faith.

      The following are some of the works which show the wide spread of Baptist sentiment, both in England and on the Continent, before the seventeenth century. Up to the last date no English Bapitst is known to have written any defence, nor is there any authentic history during the sixteenth century of the existence of English Baptist churches.

[p. 183]
      In this list: A. means that I have the book; B., that it is in the Bodleian; B. L., in the Baptist Library; B. M., that it is in the British Museum; S, in Sion College; U. C., in the University Library, Cambridge; W., in Dr. Williams' Library; and Y. M., in York Minster.

1517 - ZWINGLE, H.: Contra Catabaptistas. Tiguri. B.M.
1535 - BULLINGER, H.: Adv. omnia Catabaptistarum Prava Dogmata... Tig. A.; U.C.
1536 - ARTICLES devysed by the Kynge's Highness... to establyshe Christen quietnesse. K. Henry's Creede - against Anabaptists A.; B.M.
1536 - THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE "To have the heresies of Luther, Wickliffe, the works of Tyndale... and such other heresies of Anabaptists annulled." Froude ii. 568. A.; B.M.
1546-1640 - INIVNCTIONS AND ARTICLES: Contain several cautions and orders for inquiring into Anabaptist doctrines and practices. See Sparrow's Colins, and separate Articles. A.; B.; B.M.
1548 - HORTENSIUS, L.: Tvmvltvvm Anabaptistarum Liber unus. Basil. [The origin of many unfounded charges against E. Baptists.] A.; B.M.; B.
1549-1552. - COMMON PRAYER of Edward VIth. (First and Sec. Edns.) denounces Anabaptists by name. A.; B.M., &c.
1550-1551 - Notes of Interrogatories and Answers before the INQUISITION at Venice, Bologna, Rome, &c., with details of the Beliefs and Practices of Anabaptists in those cities and in other parts of Italy. Published by Emilio Comba, Florence, and tr. by J. T. Betts, Esq. (MS.) A.
1551 - BULLINGER, H.: A most sure defence of the baptisme of Children agt. the pestiferous secte of the Anabaptists, tr. by Jno. Veron. A.; B.
1551 - TURNER, WM., M. D.: A Preservative or triacle agt. the Poyson of Pelagius lately styrred up agayn by the lurious secte of the Anabaptists devysed by W. Turner, Powles Ch. yard. B.M.; S.; U.C.
1552 - THE DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND to W. Cecill "... wishes the King would appoint Mr. Anox (John. Knox) to the See of Rochester... a whe stone to the Archbp. of Canterbury and a Confounder to the Anabaptists lately sprung up in Kent." State Paper Kalendar (Domestic); Rolls Court.
1560 - A PROCLAMATION against Anabaptistes, given in Arber's Stationers' Co. Register, i., 570.
1560 - KNOX, JOHN: An Answer to a great number of Cavillations, by an Anabaptist (it contains the Pamphlet). A.; B.M.; S.
1560 - VERON, JNO: An Apology or Defence of Predestination [agt. Anabaptists and troublers of the Church]. A.
1562 - SIMON MENNO: (First ed. of his treatise on Saving Truth. &c.) A.
1565 - DE BRF.S, G.: La Racine des Anabaptistes avec tres ample refutation, &c. [again in Dutch in 1570, and pub. in America (at Cambridge) in 1688], W.
1569 - A PROCLAMATION against dispearsing, buying, and allowing of seditious books; another (1570); another (1573); others (in 1583 and 1588). See Arber's Register, vol. i.
1571 - WHITGIFT, JOHN: Answer to a Certain Libell. an admonition to Parlt with Certayne Notes of Anabaptists out of Zwingli. W.
1575 - DE PAEDOBAPTISTARUM errorum origine per Mart. Czechium (a Polish Author). A.
1588 - SOME, R.: A Defence... and a Refutation of many Anabaptistical absurdities on Magistracie, Baptisme, &c. B.M.; A.; W.
1588 - [UDALL, J. &c]: Martin Marprelate. The Epistle, &c. The beginning of a large Literature. A.; B. M.; &c.
1589 - SOME, R.: A Godly treatise wherein are examined many execrable Fancies given out by H. Barrow and J. Greenwood: and by other of the Anabaptist order. A.; B. L.; Y. M.
FRATRES POLONI; - Socinus, F. (1539-1604); Crallius (1590-1633); Slichtingius (1592-1661); Wolzogenius (1596-1658). The Polish Brethren, as they were called, were Unitarians and Baptists, having defended Believers' Baptism in their works. See indexes in their collected works, 7 vols., fol. 1656. Some have ascribed the existence of the English Baptists to their teaching, but a reference to the above dates shows that there is no ground for this statement. A.

[p. 184]

     With the seventeenth century the history of our churches begins. But even during this century, Baptists are known quite as much through the works and persecution of their opponents as from their own writings. Thomas Edwards, in his "Gangrena" (1646), and Daniel Featley, in "The Dippers Dipt; or the Anabaptists ducked and plunged over head and ears at a Disputation in Southwark" (1648), tell us of many faithful workers of whom else we should have known nothing. Edwards speaks of various counties where Baptists abounded, and Featley tells how there had been hundreds of Baptists in Southwark for twenty years or more. In 1589 Dr. Some also reports that there were several congregations of Baptists in London. In 1640 a violent attack in Latin on "Anabaptistes and other Heretics" was translated into English by J. D.; and in 1642 two pamphlets were published in London - one giving "The History of the Anabaptistes in High and Low Germany," and the other warning the English against the entire sect. These publications show how the early Baptists were dreaded and misunderstood.


     In the year A. D. 1644 the first English Baptist Confession was published. It was expressly intended to correct mistaken impressions of their faith; and this was followed by other editions, with slight changes or additions, in 1646, 1651, 1652, and 1653 (Leith). In 1656 a Creed of a similar kind was prepared by Thomas Collier, and published in the name of seventeen churches in Somerset and neighbouring counties. Another Creed, based, like the Savoy Confession of the Independents, upon the Westminster Confession of Faith, was published in 1677, 1688, and 1692. Meantime, other Confessions, signed by some of the General Baptists, were published in 1651 by thirty churches in the Midland counties, in 1660, and another in 1678, and in 1691. Fifty years earlier (1611), John Helwisse published a "Declaration of English People" at Amsterdam; and, about the same time, John Smyth, at Amsterdam, drew up a Confession of Faith in Dutch, which has been published in a complete form in English in Evans' History. As an evidence of the spread of Baptist views, and of the hope that they would be counteracted, the French Reformed Church published a "Formulary of Baptisme for those Anabaptists not Baptised"; and this was translated and published in London in 1646. In addition to the usual Articles of Faith, the candidate was required, before he was baptised, to confess his error, and avow his belief in infant baptism. Two of those who signed the Confession of 1646 were French pastors in London.


      These are indirect proofs of the prevalence of Baptist views; the severity of the persecution of Baptists in the century is another. The men named in the following list held no so-called Mennonite views. They were not prosecuted for civil crime. They were nearly all known as holy, earnest men; and yet nearly all of them suffered for their principles. Three, at least, died in prison - Bampfield, De Laune, and Vavasor Powell. Bunyan and Jennings were each in gaol for a dozen years. John James was executed on a charge of speaking seditious words, but on the scantiest evidence. Samuel Dates was tried for murder, on the ground that he had baptised a convert who died three months after baptism. Keach was put in the pillory for his Catechism; and nearly all were fined or imprisoned, or made to suffer for their faith - a testimony at once to their fidelity, and to the spread of their principles.


      Two peculiarities distinguish the Baptist history of the seventeenth century. It was the age of public disputation; and ministers devoted a large amount of time to evangelistic work. The former, it is generally admitted, was useless except as calling attention to truth; the latter largely blessed. One dispute was held in Southwark, in 1642, between Dr. Daniel Featley, Mr. William Kiffin, and others; then in London in 1643, where Knollys, Kiffin, and Jessey, took an active part: another at Tirling, in Essex, in 1643, between T. Lamb and others; another at Newport Pagnell, in 1647, between J. Gibbs and R. Carpenter; another at Ashford, in 1649, between S. Fisher and several clergymen; another at Bewdley, in 1649, between Baxter and Tombes; another in London, in 1650, between Dr. Chamberlain and Mr. Bakewell; another at Cork, in 1651; another at Abergavenny, in 1653
[p. 185]
between H. Vaughan, Tombes, and J. Craig; the last at Portsmouth, in 1698, "with his Majesty's licence," between W. Russell, M.D., &c., against Samuel Chandler, &c. I have the reports of most of these discussions, and can confirm the judgment that they must have been profitless for conviction. On the other hand, ministers who visited various counties for preaching purposes found many an open door with many adversaries, and formed churches which long prospered, some down to our own day.


      The following list of about one hundred and sixty contains not more than half of those whose names have come down to us as belonging to the seventeenth century. They are the names of men who are best known in our literature. Against most of the names a letter or letters will be found, referring readers who wish to know more of the men to histories which give an account of their life-work and sufferings. These biographical notices are often very touching, and instructive.

      The references are to the following: -

[В.] BROOK'S (B.) Lives of the Puritans from the Reformation under Elizabeth to the Act of Uniformity, 1662. 3 vols. 1813.
[Ca.] CALAMY'S (E., D.D.) Nonconformists' Memorial: An account of the Lives and Sufferings of 2,000 Ministers ejected in 1662. With S. Palmer's additions. 3 vols. 1802.
[С.] CROSBY'S (T.) History of the English Baptists from the Reformation to the Beginning of the Reign of George I. 4 vols. 1738-1740.
[E.] EVANS' (В., D.D.) Early English Baptists. 2 vols. 1862.
[N.] NEAL'S (D., M. A.) History of the Puritans, or Protestant Nonconformists, from the Reformation in 1517 to the Revolution in 1688. Dr. Toulmin's edition. 3 vols. 1837. Dr. Toulmin himself held Baptist views, and has written a very useful account of the Baptists and Quakers, which is appended to this edition.
[I.] IVIMEY'S (Jos.) History of the English Baptists from the Earliest Times to the Death of George III. 4 vols. 1811-1830.
[T.] TAYLOR'S (A.) History of the English General Baptists from the Beginning of the Seventeenth Century. 2 vols. 1818.
[U.] UNDERHILL'S (Dr. E. B.) Introductory Notices, in the Hansard Knollys' Society's volumes. 1846.
[W.] WILSON'S (WALTER) History and Antiquities of Dissenting Churches and Meeting Houses in London, Westminster, and Southwark, including Lives of their Ministers from the Rise of Nonconformity to the Present Times. 4 vols. 1808-1814.

      Brief notices of the more eminent of the names may be found in -
CRAMP'S (J. M., D.D.) Baptist History from the Foundation of the Christian Church to the present time, 1871, and in
WOOD'S (J. H.) History of the General Baptists of the New Connexion. 1847.
And in Dr. Cathcart's Baptist Encyclopaedia, Philadelphia. 1881.

      For the history of ministers in particular districts special notice is due to such works as JOSHUA THOMAS'S History of the Welsh Associations, published in Rippon's Register; DOUGLAS'S History of the Northern Churches; HARGREAVE'S Life of Hirst, 1816; FULLER'S (J. G.) History of Dissent in Bristol, 1840; GOADBY's Bye-Paths of Baptist History; and Baptists and Quakers in Northamptonshire, 1650-1700, &c.; CATHCART'S Baptist Encyclopaedia, Philadelphia. 1881.

      Names. - Notice of in
* Adams, R., Leicestershire, Devonshire-square, London, d. 1716 Ca, C. W
* Adis, H., 1661, "A Fanatick's Alarm, by one of the Sons of Zion"
* Allen, R., White's Alley, d. 1717 C, T, W
* Allen, Will., 1686, author of several works С

[p. 186]
      Names. - Notice of in

Bampfield, F., M. A., b. 1614, d. 1683. London, Wiltshire Notice of in Ca, C, W - Died in Newgate
* Barber, E., Bishopsgate-street, 1641; B, C, I, T, W
* Barebones, P., 1640 (see Jessey's Life, 7, II, 83, and Dexter).
* Barrow, U. "Answer to B. P. in favour of I, B." 1642.
* Bishop, G., "Election and Reprobation," 1663.
* Blackett, I., Durham (see Douglas's History).
* Blackwood, Chr., 1644-1660, Staplehurst, Northumberland,

Ireland B. C. I. T. W
* Bonham, Josiah, Byefield, " The Churches' Glory," 1674 ... Goadby
Britten, Willm., b. 1608, "The Moderate Baptist," 1654.
* Brown, T., Scripture Reader, 1673;
* Brown, R., London, Worcester, 1678, d. Plym Ca, C
* Bunyan, J., b. 1638; imprisoned from 1660-1672; Biographies ... C, I
* Busher, L., 1614; Plea for Liberty of Conscience, the first book on that subject and On False Translations of N. T., U

* Caffin, M., Horsham, &c., 1653 Т
Camelford, Gab., Furness Fells, d. 1676 Ca, E
* Canne, J., Amsterdam, Bristol, 1640 ... B, I, W
* Cary, P., Dartmouth, 1685, d. 1710 ... I
Chamberlain, Dr. P., London, 1650 ... U
* Cheare, Abr., Plymouth. 1648 B, C, I
Clayton, J., Shad Thames, 1660, d. 1689 T
* Сое, С., Bedford (see Bunyan's works).
* Collet, В., Bourton, 1660 I
* Collier, Thos., Hampshire, &c., 1645 B, C, I
* Collins, H., Wapping (afterwards Prescot-street), 1677, d. 1702 C, I
* Collins, W., Petty France, 1675-1702 W
* Cornwell, F., M.A., Marden, Cranbrook, 1643. First used laying on of hands, T, i., 120 B, I, T
* Сох, В., М.А., 1639, Devon, Coventry, Lon. B, I, T
* Coxe, N., D.D., Petty France, 1675-1688 C, W

* Danvers, H., near Aldgate, d. 1687 C, I, W
* De Laune, T., Schoolmaster, London. "A Plea for Nonconformity." Died in Prison .. I
* Dell, W., M.A., Master of Caius College, Cambridge ... Ca, T
* Denne, H., 1643, Fenstanton, &c., Canterbury, London, d. 1660 B, C, E, I, T, W
Denne, J., Lincolnshire ... T
* Doe, C., London I
Donne, I., Keysoe (K. Coll.), imprisoned with Bunyan ... Ca, I
* Drapes, E., London, "Gospel Glory," 1649 I
Du Veil, C.M., D.D., Gracechurch-street C, I, T, W
* Dyke, D., M. A., b. 1617, Devonshire-square, d. 1688 ... B, C, W

* Ewer, S., on Baptism .. .. .. .. W
Ewins, T., d. 1670, Broadmead . . . Ca, I
* Everard, R., recommended by Marsom T

* Field, H., Burnham, "Last Legacy" of
Fisher, S., Ashford, 1649 Ca, C
Forty, H., London, Abingdon, d. 1692 C, I
Frewen, Paul, Warwick T Ca., C

Gibbs, J., Newport Pagnell, Olney С, Ca, I
Gifford, A., Bristol, b. 1649, d. 1721 ... С, I
Gifford, J., Bedford, 1650, Bunyan's "Evangelist" Ca, C, E, I
Gosnold, Jno., Pembroke Hall, London, d. 1678, Ca, C, E, I

[p. 187]
Names. - Notice of in
* Grantham, T., b. 1634, Linc., Norf., d. 1692. B, C, I, T
* Griffiths, I., Bisbopsgate-street, d. 1702 C, W

* Haggar, H., Stafford, baptised Danvers
* Hammond, G., Biddenden, 1648 I, T
Hardcastle, Thomas, Shadwell ; Broadmead, Bristol ... Ca, C
* Harrison, Major-General. "Head of the Baptists in England" E, U
* Harrison, T., Petty France, 1689-1699 W
Head, Josh., Bourton-on-W Ca
* Helwisse, Thos., London, 1615, d. 1620, Founder of the first General Baptist Church B, E, T, W
Hobson, Paul, Crutched Friars, Northumberland, &c Ca, C, W
* Hooke, Jos., Bourn, " Apology for Believers' Baptism," 1701 ... T
Horrockes, T., Essex, see Davids' History of Nonconformity in Essex Ca, E
How, S., "Cobbler," Deadraan Place, 1639, warmly praised by Roger Williams W
* Hutchinson, E., "On the Covenants and Baptism," 1676 ... C, I
* Hutchinson, Col., and Mrs.(see Memoirs, and Toulmin's Neal. iii.)

* Ivee, Jer., Old Jewry, 1655-1674 C, T, W

* James, Jno., Whitechapel, 1661, executed B, C, E, T
* Jeffry, W., b. 1616, Bessels Green B, C, I, T
Jennings, Jno., Bishopsgate, 1675, was imprisoned twelve years C, I, T
* Jessey, H., b. 1601, bap. 1645, d. 1663, Founder of an open Communion Church, urged a revision of the authorised version Ca, C, I, W

* Keach, B., b. 1640, Horselydown, 1668-1704 C, I, W
* Keach, Elias, Hymns, 1696, in the Huth Library C, I
* Kifftn, W., b. 1616, Devonshire-square, 1644-92, d. 1701, imprisoned. See Orme's Life C, I, W
* King, D., near Coventry, 1650, Southwark I
* Kingsworth, R., Staplehurst
* Knollys, Hans., b. 1598, London, d. 1691. See Kiffin's Life, 1692 B, C, E, W
* Knutton, Immanuel.

* Lamb, Thos., Colchester, Colman-street, b. 1640, d. 1672 ... B, C, E, I, T Lamb, Is. (son of above), Ratcliffe Highway, often preached before Blake and Penn, d. 1691. T. Oates became one of his members C, I
* Laurence, H., Sec. of Council of State, Milton's friend ... C, E
* Lilburne, Jas., Col., Devonshire-square, &c.
* Loveday, S., East Smithfield, 1660, d. 1685 T
* Ludlow, E., " Head of Baptists in Ireland " E

Maisters, Jos., b. 1640, London, d. 1717 Ca, I
* Marlow, Is., Maze Pond. Wrote against singing, answered by Keach, 1692. One of the Treasurers of the Fund, blarsden, Jer. (called Ralphson from his father's name). Imprisoned with Bampeld B, Ca, E
Marsom, J., Luton, 1675. Imprisoned with Bunyan, d. 1726 ... I
Milton, John, b. 1608, d. 1674. See Masson's Life; he held Baptist Views.
* Minge, Thomas, "Gospel Baptist," 1700.
* Monk, T., Buckingham, author of Creed of 1678 T
* Morton, J., Lon., 1610, Colchester. A Colleague of John Smyth B, C. E. T

[p. 188]
Names. - Notice of in
Mulliner, Abr., Bishopsgate-street, b. 1671, d. 1739. Mentioned by D'Assigny, 1709 ... С, Т
Myles, I., Ilston, Founded 1st Welsh Church at Swansea, 1649 Thomas

* Nicholas, J. St., Lutterworth, d. 1698 C, I
* Norcott, J., the successor of Spilsbury, at Wapping, d. 1675 ... I

* Oates, Sam., Co-pastor with Lamb, Coleraan St., Essex, 1646, d. 1666. Tried on charge of murder for baptizing a convert. B, C, I, W
* Oates, Tilus, He was a Baptist, was excluded, then became a clergyman, and afterwards a Roman Catholic C, I

Page, Edw., Bristol
* Palmer, Ant., Bourton and London, 1678. Leominster, Worcester Ca. I
* Pardoe, W., "Ancient Christianity Reviewed," written in Leicester and Worcester Prisons ... I, T
* Patients (or Patience), Thos., assistant of Kiffin, Devonshire Square, Dublin, 1644, d. 1666 B, C, I, U, W
* Pendarves, J., В.A., b. 1622, Abingdon, 1652, d. 1657 ... C, I
* Piggott, John, London I, T
* Piggott, Thomas, Amsterdam (see Barclay).
* Plant, Thomas, London I, T
Plimpton, J., Dublin, 1696-1698.
* Porter, J., Dispute at Ellesmere, 1656.
Powell, Vavasor, the Apostle of Wales, died in prison, 1671 ... Ca, C, E, I
* Prince, Thos., against Kiffin, 1649.
Prudhom, C., Bridlington, 1698.
* Purnell, R., Bristol, 1652-1659.

Quarrel, T., Llangwm. (See J. Thomas's History of Associations in Wales) Ca

* Richardson, S., Colleague of Spilsbury, 1647 I
* Rider, W., first Pastor of Keach's Church, 1652, C, I
* Robotham, J., Upminster.
*Russell, W., M. D., d. 1701, Northamptonshire, Portsmouth, &c.

* Sharpe, I., Frome, d. 1740. A Convert of Bunyan's.
Sickelmore, Jno., 1640, Portsmouth and Chicester ...
* Simpson, Jno., London, 1650, d. 1662 B
Sims, John, Southampton, 1646 (Edwards' Gangraena) ... I
Smith, F., Bookseller, imprisoned by Judge Jeffries, d. 1691 ... T
Smith, W., Welton T
* Smyth, Jno., Amsterdam, Lincolnshire, d. 1610 B, C, E, I, W
* Spilsbury, Jno., Wapping, 1633. Founder of the 1st Particular Baptist Church (?) B, C, W
* Spittlehouse, J.
* Stanley, F., East Haddon, Northamptonshire, d. 1696 ...
* Steed, Robt., Dartmouth, 1640, and co-pastor of Hansard Knollys C, I
* Stennett, Ed., Wallingford, I
* Stennett, Joseph, b. 1663. Pinners' Hall, 1690 to 1713. Suc. Bampfield C, I
* Stennett, Joseph, D.D., Little Wild-street C, I
* Sturgion, John, 1661. Plea for Toleration C, U

Terrill, Ed., Schoolmaster and Minister, Bristol, b. 1635, d. 1686 Laid foundation for Bristol Academy I
Thomas, W., d. 1693, Bristol, trained ministers I

[p. 189]
* Tombes, J., b. 1603, d. 1676. Temple, Bewdley, &c Ca, ... C, I
* Tredwell, J., Suffolk, 1692 ... I
Tuthill H.

* Vane, Sir Henry.
Vaughan, H., Olchon, Radnorshire, 1633-1653, Pastor of first Baptist Church in Wales (see Myles) . . .

* Walwyn, R., Herts.
* Walwyn, W., London
Whinnell, T., Taunton I
Wilcox, T., b. 1622, d. 1687. Often imprisoned. Cannon-street and Southwark. "A Choice drop of Honey," &c C, I
Wilkinson, Jno., 1619 ...
* Williams, Roger, b. 1599, d. 1683. Founder of first Baptist Church in America (See Biography of) B, W
Wise, Laurence, Chatham, Goodman's Yard Ca, E, I
Woodward, W., Harlow, 1662-1712 and Davids' Essex ... Ca, C, I
Woolwich, Hez.
Wright, Jos., b. 1623, Maidstone. Twenty years in prison ... I, T, W
* Wyke, A. (see Edward's Gangraena).
Wyles, N., Colchester.


     Of the whole number, more than fifty, and these among the most eminent, had received a University education. Biographical notices of seven-and-twenty of them are given in Brook's "Puritans," and of three-and-twenty more who were ejected at the Restoration, in Calamy. Several others, whose names are not found in Brook or Calamy, were also members of one of the universities, like Dr. N. Coxe and Dr. Chamberlain. Some, like Samuel How and John Bunyan, were, as Baxter says of himself, "of no University"; but more than are generally supposed were trained men; and proved by their history the extent of their learning and the strength of their principles.


      In consequence of the amalgamation of General and Particular Baptists in 1891, the distinctive designations are omitted; but it may be well to remark that both sections of the body as they formerly existed are included in this list. In the early part of the seventeenth century, the Particular and the General Baptists were more closely agreed than in the eighteenth, and were nearly equal in numbers and influence. The earliest Creeds (1644, 1646, &c.), and the first Creed of 1677, which is based on the Westminster Confession, are Calvinistic. The Creed of 1660 is Arminian; and the Creed of 1670 is claimed by both, though perfectly acceptable to neither. Both were earnest and evangelical, nor is it always easy to distinguish between them; "however, the seeds of decay had taken deep root," towards the close of the century, in the General Baptist churches (Taylor's History, i. 355), not did they regain their old vigour and faith till after the formation of the New Connexion in 1770.


     I have not included Welsh Baptists in the above list, except the names of Vavasor Powell and two others. About twelve Welsh clergymen are said to have been ejected at the Restoration who became Baptist ministers, and others had left the Established Church before. In a touching narrative of the condition of Wales given by Vavasor Powell and prefixed to "The Bird in the Cage" (London, 1662), he tells us that at the beginning of the Civil War there were but one or two gathered congregations in all Wales, and in some counties scarce any that made profession of godliness; but that when he wrote "there were above twenty gathered churches with, in some two, in some three, in some four or five hundred
[p. 190]
members." These were the beginnings of dark days. The noble and sainted man died, in 1670, in the titty-third year of his age, and in the eleventh year of his imprisonment.


     Of this list of 156 authors I have one or more works of 117 of them, marked (*). This is an increase of 30 Baptist ministers, and of one or more of the works of 40, as compared with the list as issued some years ago.


     I shall be specially glad to hear of copies of works by Allen (R.), Blackwood (C.) Britten, Chamberlain (Dr. W.), Doe (C), Edwards (Dublin), Gifford (Dr. A.), Gosnold (J.), Hammon (G.), Haggar (H.), Helwisse (T.), Ives (Jer.), Keach (B.) (I have 30 works of his out of 45), Knollys (H.), Lamb (Thos.), Monk (Thos.), Pendarves (J.), Richardson (S.), Russell (Dr. W.), and Smith (John and William), of Welton, and any Works of authors in the proceeding list which have no asterisks prefixed.
[In Progress.]

[The Baptist Handbook for 1896, by Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland, 1895, pp. 183-190. The document is from Google Books On-line; thanks to Steve Lecrone for locating the document. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

More on British Baptists
Baptist History Homepage