Clegg, James (DNB00)

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CLEGG, JAMES, M.D. (1679–1755), presbyterian minister, born at Shawfield in the parish of Rochdale, Lancashire, on 26 Oct. 1679, was educated by the Rev. Richard Frankland at Rathmell in Yorkshire, and the Rev. John Chorlton at Manchester. In 1702 he settled as minister of a presbyterian congregation at Malcalf or Malcoffe in Derbyshire, in succession to the Rev. William Bagshaw [q. v.], the 'Apostle of the Peak,' and in 1711 he removed to Chinley, where a chapel had been built, partly from the old materials of the Malcalf meeting-house. At Chinley he remained until his death, on 5 Aug. 1755. He qualified himself as a medical man and obtained the degree of M.D. This step was no doubt taken in order that he might have the means of adding to the slender income he would receive as a village dissenting pastor. During his long residence in the Peak district he gained great respect for his distinguished abilities and kindly character.

In 1703 he, in conjunction with the Rev. John Ashe [q. v.], edited William Bagshaw's 'Essays on Union unto Christ,' and shortly afterwards he wrote an 'advertisement' prefixed to Mr. Ashe's 'Peaceable and Thankful Temper recommended,' the subject of which is the union of England and Scotland. In 1721 he published a discourse on the 'Covenant of Grace' (pp. 71), written in answer to the Rev. Samuel De la Rose of Stockport; and in 1731 he printed a sermon which he had preached at the ordination of John Holland, jun., entitled 'The Continuance of the Christian Church secured by its Constitution.' In 1736 he wrote a little book which is valuable for its biographical information, entitled 'A Discourse occasion'd by the sudden death of the Reverend Mr. John Ashe : to which is added a Short Account of his Life and Character, and of some others in or near the High Peak in Derbyshire, as an appendix to the Rev. Mr. William Bagshaw's Book "De Spiritualibus Pecci"'(12mo, pp. 109). He subsequently edited a collection of 'Seventeen Sermons' preached by his friend John Ashe (1741, 8vo). Clegg was married in 1703 to Ann Champion.

[History of Chesterfield, 1839, p. 130; Sir Thomas Baker's Memorials of a Dissenting Chapel, 1884, p. 101; O. Heywood's Diaries, ed. Turner, iv. 318, 321; Urwick's Nonconformity in Cheshire, 1864, p. 293; Brit. Mus. and Manchester Free Library Catalogues.]

C. W. S.