Balmford, James (DNB00)

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BALMFORD, JAMES (b. 1556), divine, published in 1593-4 a 'Short and Plaine Dialogue concerning the unlawfulness of playing at cards,' London, 12mo. The tract, which consists of eight leaves, is dedicated to the mayor, aldermen, and burgesses of Newcastle-on-Tyne, his patrons (Life of Andrew Barnes (Surtees Society), 296, 297, 299); the dedication is dated 1 Jan. 1593-4. It is stated in Hazlitt's 'Handbook' that the 'Dialogue' appeared also in broadside form. In 1623 Balmford reprinted this 'Dialogue,' and added some animadversions on Thomas Gataker's treatise 'Of the Nature and Use of Lots.' In the 'Address to the Christian Reader, being one of those men who (according to St. Paul's prophecy) love pleasures more than God' which is dated 14 Sept. 1620, the author speaks of himself as 'a man of 64 yeares compleate.' Gataker lost no time in replying, and in the same year published 'A Just Defence of certaine Passages in a former Treatise concerning the Nature and Use of Lots against such exceptions and oppositions as have been made thereunto by Mr. J. B.,' 4to, a voluminous book of some two hundred and fifty pages, in which the writer states his opponent's objections in full, and answers them point by point. In 1607 Balmford published 'Carpenter's Chippes, or Simple Tokens of unfeined good will to the Christian friends of J. B., the poor Carpenter's sonne.' The book, which is dedicated to the Countess of Cumberland, contains three discourses:— (1) 'The Authoritie of the Lord's Day;' (2) 'State of the Church of Rome; (3) ' Execution of Priests.' Balmford is also the author of 'A Shorte Catechisme summarily comprizing the principal points of the Christian faith,' London, 1607, 8vo, and of 'A Short Dialogue concerning the Plagues Infection,' 1603, 8 vo, dedicated by Balmford to his parishioners at St. Olave's, Southwark.

[Watt's Bibl. Brit.; British Museum Catalogue; Hazlitt's Handbook; Hazlitt's Collection and NotcH, second series.]

A. H. B.