Ellis, Clement (DNB00)

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ELLIS, CLEMENT (1630–1700), divine and poet, was born at the episcopal palace of Rose Castle, Carlisle, Cumberland, in 1630. His father. Captain Philip Ellis, had been educated at Queen's College, Oxford, under the tuition of Dr. Barnaby Potter, who, on being raised to the see of Carlisle in March 1628, appointed his old pupil to be his steward. The bishop, who was godfather to Clement, died before the outbreak of the civil war, in January 1641-2, but Captain Ellis kept possession of Rose Castle for the king, and stood a siege for some considerable time. On the castle being taken he was imprisoned for twenty-six weeks and lost most of his estate (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1661-2, pp. 362, 621). Clement became a servitor of Queen's College, Oxford, in 1649, was afterwards a taberdar, and was elected a fellow in 1657 (ib, 1656-7, pp. 23, 51, 242, 1657-8, pp. 201, 216). He proceeded B.A. 2 Feb. 1653, M.A. 9 July 1656 (Wood, Fasti Oxon., ed. Bliss, ii. 175, 193). While at Oxford he received several donations towards his subsistence, both before and after taking orders, from unknown hands, with anonymous letters informing him that those sums were in consideration of his father's sufferings, and to encourage his progress in his studies. After the Restoration he had reason to believe that he owed these gifts to Jeremy Taylor and Henry Hammond, as part of the funds entrusted to them for distribution among oppressed loyalists (Wordsworth, Christian Biography 4th edit. iv. 358 n). Ellis thought it necessary to welcome Charles in some wretched lines addressed `To the Kings most excellent Majesty, on his happie and miraculous Return to the Government of his Three (now) flourishing Kingdoms,' fol., London, l660, in which he frankly confessed himself to be `much a better subject than a poet.' In 1661 he became domestic chaplain to William, marquis (afterwards duke) of Newcastle (Cal. State Papers Dom. 1660-1, p. 502), by whom he was subsequently presented to the rectory of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, in 1693 he was installed a prebendary of Southwell on the presentation of Sharp, archbishop of York. Ellis died 28 June 1700, aged 70. Before 1665 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Remington of the East Riding of Yorkshire, by whom he had four sons and one daughter. His wife died in July 1691. Some of Ellis's religious writings, from their unaffected piety and homely vgour of style, enjoyed in their day considerable popularity. That by which he is still remembered is, 'The Gentile Sinner, or England's Brave Gentleman characterized in a Letter to a Friend, both as he is and as he should be,' 8vo, Oxford, 1660. Of this little work, which was written in a fortnight, seven editions were called for during the author's lifetime. Ellis wrote also: 1. 'Piæ Juventuti sacrum. An Elegy on the Death of the most virtuous and hopeful young Gentleman, George Pitt, esq.,' 4to, Oxford, 1658. 2. 'Sermon [on Ps. cxviii. 22, 23, 24], preached 29 May 1661, the Day of his Majesty's Birth and happy Restoration,' before William, marquis of Newcastle, in his house of Welbeck, 4to, Oxford, 1661. 3. 'The Vanity of Scoffing: in a Letter to a Witty Gentleman' (anon.), 4to, London, 1674. 4. 'Catechism, wherein the Learner is at once taught to rehearse and prove all the main Points of the Christian Religion,' &c., 8vo, London, 1674. (Republished, with additions and a life of the author by John Veneer, rector of St. Andrew's, Chichester, 8vo, 1738.) 5. 'Christianity in short; or, the Way to be a good Christian,' 12mo, London (1682). 6. 'The Right Foundation of Quietness, Obedience, and Concord, discovered in two seasonable Discourses [on Prov. xix. 21, and on Phil. ii. 3], shewing (1) The Folly of Man's Decrees. (2) The Stability of God's Counsel. (3) The Practice of true Humility,' 8vo, London, 1684. 7. 'The Communicant's Guide,' 12mo, London, 1685. 8. 'Rest for the Heavy-Laden; promised by... Jesus Christ to all sincere believers, practically discoursed upon,' 12mo, London, 1686. 9. 'A Letter to a Friend, reflecting on some Passage in a Letter [by John Sergeant] to the D[ean] of P[aul's, i. e. Edward Stillingfleet] in answer to the arguing part of his first Letter to Mr. G[ooden, which is signed E.S., i.e. Edward Stillingfleet]' (anon.), 4to, London, 1687. 10. 'The Reflecters Defence of his Letter to a Friend [concerning the conference between Edward Stillingfleet and Peter Gooden] against the furious assaults of Mr. J[ohn] S|[ergeant] in his second Catholic Letter. In four Dialogues (between J. S., a Roman Catholick, and C., a Catholick Christian)' (anon.), 4to, London, 1688. 11. 'The Protestant Resolved; or, a Discourse shewing the unreasonableness of his turning Roman Catholic for Salvation' (anon.), 4to, London, 1688 (reprinted in vol. i. of 'A Preservative against Popery,' fol, London, 1738, in vol. iv. of the 184S edition, 8vo, and in vol. iii. of Cardwell's 'Enchiridion,' 8vo, 1837). 12. 'Religion and Loyalty inseperable. A Sermon [on Prov. xxiv. 21] preached at the assizes held at Nottingham, 5 Sept. 1690,' 4to, London, 1691. 13. 'The Necessity of serious Consideration and Speedy Repentance, as the only way to be safe, both Living and dying,' 8vo, London, 1691. 14. 'The Folly of Atheism demonstrated to the capacity of the most unlearned Reader,' 8vo, London, 1692. 15. 'The Lambs of Christ fed with sincere Milk of the Word, in a short Scripture Catechism,' 8vo, London, 1692. 16. 'The Christian Hearer's first Lesson. A sermon [on 1 Cor. iii. 7] preached at St. Mary's Church in Nottingham, 4 Oct. 1694,' 4to, London, 1694. 17. ' The Sum of Christianity,' 3rd edit., 8vo, London, 1703 (pre-printed in vol. i. of Wordsworth's 'Christian Institutes,' 8vo, 1839). 18. 'Three Discourses; one on the Parable of Dives and Lazarus [Luke xvi. 19-31]; the second on that of the Unjust Steward [Luke xvi. 1-9], and the third on that of the Ten Virgins [Matt. xxv. 1-12]. With a Preface, giving some account of the Author's Writings and Life ' (edited by Thomas Ellis, the son), 8vo, London, 1704. 19. 'The Self-Deceiver plainly discover'd to himself, or the serious Christian instructed in his duty to God ... In some private Conferences between a minister and his Parishioner,' 8vo, London, 1731. Ellis likewise compiled a grammar for the use of his children, entituled 'Magnum in Parvo, an English guide to the Latin Tongue.' According to Noble his portrait at the age of sixty-eight was prefixed to his 'Three Discourses' (Continuation of Granger, ii. 141; Granger, Biog, Hist, of England, 2nd ed., iii. 299-300).

[Wood's Athenæ Oxen. (Bliss), iv. 516-17; Veneer's Life; Granger's Xietters, p. 133.]

G. G.