Denton, John (DNB00)

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DENTON, JOHN (1625–1709), nonconformist divine, was born near Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1625, and was entered sizar and pupil to David Clarkson at Clare Hall, Cambridge, on 4 May 1646. Here he contracted a lasting friendship with Tillotson, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, to whom he was of material service during a very severe illness. In 1662 he was ejected for nonconformity from the living of Oswaldkirk, Yorkshire, where Tillotson had preached his first sermon. Denton was subsequently reordained by Dr. Thomas Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, and presented to the living of Stonegrave, and to a prebendal stall in York Cathedral. These he held till his death, which occurred on 14 Jan. 1708–9 in his eighty-third year, as appears from the inscription on his tombstone in Stonegrave Church. ‘Denton,’ says Baxter, ‘was a very pious man and a profitable preacher.’ He published some religious and polemical tracts, and wrote in defence of his friend Tillotson against the attack made upon the latter and Dr. Burnet by Dr. George Hickes.

[Baxter's History of his Life and Times, 1713 p. 818; Birch's Life of Tillotson, 10–11, 435–6.]

R. H.