Denton, Nathan (DNB00)

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DENTON, NATHAN (1634–1720), last of the ejected ministers, was born in the chapelry of Bradfield, parish of Ecclesfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, in 1634. From the grammar school of Worsborough he went to University College, Oxford, in 1652. His tutor was Thomas Jones [q. v.], whom Wood calls ‘a zealous person for carrying on the righteous cause.’ Denton graduated, but is not mentioned by Wood. Leaving the university he taught a grammar school at Cawthorne, West Riding, preaching alternately at Cawthorne and High Hoyland. He was ordained in 1658 at Hemsworth by the West Riding presbytery as minister of High Hoyland. Thence he removed to Derwent chapel, Derbyshire, and about 1660 to Bolton-upon-Dearne, West Riding. From the perpetual curacy of Bolton he was ejected by the Uniformity Act of 1662, but continued to reside in the parish, except for two periods of about two years each, during the enforcement of the Five Miles Act (1665). For a year after his ejection he preached in the parish church of Hickleton, West Riding, being maintained as a lecturer by Lady Jackson, sister of George Booth, first lord Delamer [q. v.] Subsequently he preached, as occasion permitted, in Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Calamy, writing in August 1713, when Denton was in his eightieth year, says he still preached frequently at Great Houghton, a township in the parish of Darfield, West Riding, where there was a presbyterian congregation. Calamy describes Denton as ‘the picture of an old puritan.’ He had several overtures of preferment after his ejection, but remained steadfast in his nonconformity. He died in 1720, having outlived all who had been ejected with him fifty-eight years before. His son Daniel was presbyterian minister at Bull House, near Penistone, West Riding.

[Calamy's Continuation, 1713, p. 950; Palmer's Nonconf. Memorial, 1803, iii. 425; Hunter's Life of Oliver Heywood, 1842, p. 316; James's Hist. Litigation and Legislation Presb. Chapels and Charities, 1867, p. 684.]

A. G.