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Written by himself in the 79th, 8oth,
81st and 82d Years of his Age.
WILLIAM WHISTO N* was born at Norton juxta Twycrosse, in the County of Leicester, upon December 9, A. D. 1667.O.S. My Father was Mr. Josiah W biston, Rector
of the fame Place : Who married the Daughter of Mr. Gabriel Rolle, the former Incumbent; whose Curate he had been, and was so fortuB
• The Reader is to observe, that the entire Hifories of Mr. Whifton's Prosecutions at the University of Cambridge: with his Banishment thence ; of his Deprivation of the Mathematick Proferforship there, and of the Profits thereof : With the Cenfure of bis Notions by the Convocation ; and his Profecution before che Court of
nate as to succeed him, of which Gabriel Roffe, my Grandfather, who was Rector of Norton near 50 Years, and lived to 87 or 88 Years of Age, I remember to have heard these few Things only, viz. That he was under the famous Cambden, fecond Marter of Westminster School ; that he refused to read King Charles's Book of Sports on the Lord's Day : That however, when he heard he was beheaded, he fell a weeping; and that in his very old Age, when he went to bed he used to say, I go to my Bed as to my Grave. Now my Father had been admitted into Queen's College, Oxford, tho' he did not I believe stay there long. He had been approved by Peter Watkinson, Moderator, and seven others of the Classical Presbytery at Wirksworth, in the Province of Derby, and ordained a Preaching Presbyter, June 21, 1653, by Fasting, and Prayer, and Imposition of Hands. He was after the Restoration kept in his Living of Norton by the Favour and Interest of Mr. Merrey, his great Friend of Gopshill, in his Neighbourhood ; and was instituted into that Living by Bishop Sanderson, Nov.9, 1661. He was, married to Mrs. Katherine Rosse, May 13, 1657, by Mr. Francis Sbute, a Justice of Peace at Upton; as was the Practice at that Time: The Originals of all which Instruments I have now by me. However, since there is somewhat very remarkable relating to
my Delegates, and its Upshot are here omitted ; as already at large pub. libed after his Historical Preface, prefix'd to the first of his four Volumes of Primitive Christianity reviv'd, with some Idditions there; and at the End of the Vth Volume, Where the Reader will find compleat Accounts of them all. See also the Memoirs of Dr. Clark's Life per tor, and many other places of lis Writings hereafter specify'd.
my Father, in a Note I lately made upon a Passage in Sir William Dugdale's Short View of the late Troubles of England, page 473, I shall bere add that Note. He there sets down my Father's Name in a Lift of Clergymen of the County of Leicester, that address'a the Parliament. Upon which my Note was as follows.
N. B. This Josiah Whifton was my Father, and at this Time 1659, become Successor to my Grandfather, Mr Gabriel Rose; who died Oktober 19. A. D. 1658. When I as his Amanuensis (for he had himfelf loft his Sight several Years before his. Death, ) read the Catalogue of Subscribers, he was prodigiously uneasy at his Name being in it. His Account to me was this: That when some Apparitor or Messenger came from those at the Helm to obtain the Subscription, he was very unwilling to comply. He said, he lived privately, and endeavoured to do his own Duty without intermedling with the Affairs of State, and so earnestly desired to be excused. But the Apparitor or Messenger, would admit of no Excuse, and told him, that it he refused, his Name must be put into the Roll of Refu. sers, or into his black Book, to be seen by those in Authority. The Consequence of which my Father so dreaded, that he did at last subscribe ; but deeply repented it all the Days of his Life, and
his Death-bed also. Nay I believe he kept Jan. 30th,
the Anniversary Day of Humiliation for the Death of King Charles I. ] more folemnly, as a religious Fast, than any other Clergyman in England, every Year till the Day of his Death, A. D. 1685. He
also wrote a Book, tho' never published, against the Lawfulness of that War; which I have now by me, under his own Hand, in MŚ. and a better Copy of which, as I take it, the late Sir John Harpur had. My Copy begins with this Declaration, That his Doubts about the Lawulness of that War began this very Year 1659, and informs us, that “ this Manufcipt " . was begun Jan. 11, and finished Feb. 19, 1665, "1666.” His Brother, Mr. Joseph Whiston of Lewes in Sussex, a very pious Dissenter, that wrote several Books for Infant-Baptism [an Account of whofe religious Death I have now by me) had been Chaplain to Col. Harrison, one of the Regicides. To whom my Father made me write long Letters, to convince him of the Unlawfulness of that War: (A Copy of one of which Letters I have still by me) but all in vain. Their Differences in Opinion however did not break their Brotherly Friendship, as appeared by his leaving what he had amongst us, his Brother's Children, when he died. All this I attest, April 25, 1746. But before I proceed to my own History, I cannot omit to mention the Relations that came to my Father at Norton, when I was but a Child under 10 Years of Age, concerning that wonderful and undeniable instance of the Punishment:of one John Duncalf of Kings Swinford, about 30 Miles from us in Staffordshire ; of which I well remember we had. feveral Attestations at the very Time, either from Eye and Ear Witnesses, or those who had spoken with Eye and Ear Witnesses. This Jobn Duncalf had cursed himself, upon his steal