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Was born at Birdsall in the East Riding, in 1579, and educated at St. John's College, Cambridge. Being appointed tutor to the sons of Robert Carey, of Leppington in the same Riding (who in 1625 was created Earl of Monmouth, and died in 1639) he conducted himself with so much propriety that, through the recommendation of that nobleman, he was made Clerk of the Closet to Prince Henry; and, after his demise; to Prince Charles. In 1623, having completed the necessary preparations for attending his royal master into Spain, he received an unexpected order not to proceed in the journey. On the death of James I., he flattered himself with the hopes of obtaining the office of Clerk of the Closet to the King. But Neile, Bishop of Durham, who had enjoyed that office under the late sovereign, was continued in it. Upon this occasion, Mr. Burton expressed his sentiments with the utmost severity of invective against the Bishops. He even ventured, in a letter addressed to the King, April 23, 1625, to represent the two prelates Neile and Laud as strongly attached to popery ; in consequence of which, he was dismissed from the Court. In the same year, he was presented to the rectory of St. Matthew's in Friday Street, London. Here he seems to have been very inoffensive in his demeanour, until the publication of his two Sermons preached November 5, 1636, and printed under the title of “For God and the King,” subjected him to the censures of the Star-Chamber. In these Discourses, he charged the Bishops with plotting to exchange the orthodox religion established in England for the Romish superstition, and censured them severely for having introduced several innovations into the public service. These charges perhaps it would have been prudent to have permitted, with the apology annexed to them, to sink into oblivion. In every view of the case, it is painful to relate the cruel prosecution instituted against their author. Have we not reason to felicitate ourselves upon the privilege, enjoyed in these days by even the humblest Englishman, of claiming a legal trial by Jury? By a sentence surely more than adequate to the offence, he was condemned to close and perpetual imprisonment in the castle of Lancaster, to the payment of a fine of £5,000, to be deprived of his preferment, and to be degraded from his ministry and his academical degrees ; and, farther, to be set in the pillory, and to lose both his ears. Humanity shudders at this savage rigour; particularly when it is added, that no tenderness was discovered in the execution of it. Both ears were amputated close to the head ; so that, the veins being cut, the blood ran streaming


upon the scaffold, the prisoner in the mean time exciting the compassion of the spectators by his cheerfulness and resignation.

Great crowds resorting to him in the common gaol at Lancaster, while he procured many printed papers to be dispersed in London, he was removed by an Order of Council to Cornet Castle in the Isle of Guernsey.

In 1640, his wife presented a petition to the House of Commons, exhibiting an account of his rigorous treatment; upon which the Speaker was directed to issue his warrant for liberating the prisoner, and certifying the cause of his imprisonment. On his approach to London, he and Mr. Prynn, who was at the same time discharged from his confinement in the Isle of Jersey, were met by vast multitudes of people, strewing the way

with flowers and herbs. It was resolved in Parliament, that “the sentence against Mr. Burton was illegal, and that it should be reversed. His fine was remitted ; and he was restored to his preferment.

It would be unjust not to remark, that though he professed himself an Independent, and complied with the prevailing fashion of the times, he became more moderate in his sentiments when he observed the strange measures adopted by Parliament. He died in 1647-8.

Among other works edited by him, he was author of Jesu-Worship confuted, or certain VOL. II.


Arguments against bowing at the Name of Jesus; proving it to be Idolatrous and Superstitious, and so utterly unlawful. With objections to the contrary fully answered.' By H. B. Allowed by Sir Edward Dering, and first published in 1641. Reprinted in 1660.-(Kennet's Register, 216.)

See, also, ib. 243., an account of two other works on bowing at the name of Jesus.


Earl of Somerset, was born in the city of York.(Fuller's Worthies, II. 541.)

Wilson informs us, that James I. took upon himself to teach the Latin language to this his minion.


See Birch's Life of Tillotson, 231.


Knight, Member of Parliament for Scarborough, is recorded at some length, as he deserved to be, in the Parliamentary or Constitutional History of England, IX. 10. He commanded a party, which besieged Pontefract Castle; but, his troops making only slow progress, Colonel Rainsborough was sent to supersede him in his command.

See his own Memoirs, privately printed in 1787, and Nichols' Literary Anecdotes, IX. 43.


Made Chief Justice of the King's Bench, 6 Edt. VI., was excepted in Queen Mary's pardon.(See Hollinshed, 1722; and Fuller's Worthies, II. 506.)


Was born at Bardsea near Leeds.

Mr. Tyers says of himself; “Having an affluent fortune, he affects to be ashamed of the imputation of being an author, and (the old case of Voltaire and Congreve over again) chose to be considered only as a writer.” The foolish vanity here alluded to drew from Voltaire the reproof, that “if Mr. C. had been only a gentleman, he should not have had any wish to pay him a visit.”

The name of Congreve will occur, to every reader acquainted with literary history, as an instance of one who attained at an early age an extensive knowledge of life and manners. This extraordinary man had written his three best

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