Farindon, Anthony (DNB00)

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FARINDON, ANTHONY (1598–1658), royalist divine, was born at Sonning, Berkshire. The parish register records the baptism on 24 Dec. 1598 of ‘Antony Farndon, son of Thomas Farndon.’ The name is also spelled Faringdon, Farringdon, Farington, and Farrington. He was admitted a scholar of Trinity College, Oxford, on 9 June 1612. He graduated B.A. on 26 June 1616, was admitted a fellow in 1617, and graduated M.A. on 28 March 1620. Later in the same year he joined with fifty-two other masters of arts, including Sheldon and Heylyn, in a petition to Prideaux, the vice-chancellor, asking that they should not be compelled ‘to sit like boys, bareheaded, in the convocation house.’ The petition was granted on 20 Dec. On 17 Dec. 1629 he graduated B.D. Ireton, who was admitted as a gentleman-commoner of Trinity College in 1626, was put under discipline by Farindon for some act of insubordination, and the tutor is said to have remarked that Ireton ‘would prove either the best or the worst instrument that ever this kingdome bred’ (Lloyd).

In 1634 Farindon was presented by John Bancroft, D.D. [q. v.], bishop of Oxford, to the vicarage of Bray, Berkshire, worth 120l. a year; and in 1639, through the interest of Laud, he obtained in addition the post of divinity lecturer in the Chapel Royal at Windsor. Here he acquired the friendship of John Hales of Eton.

Of both these preferments he was dispossessed during the civil war. It is said that Ireton, immediately after the second battle of Newbury (27 Oct. 1644), quartered himself on Farindon, and plundered his vicarage out of revenge for the college grievance. Farindon appears to have been superseded by one Brice, afterwards of Henley, Oxfordshire, and Brice, in 1649, by Hezekiah Woodward, an independent in favour with Cromwell. What became of Farindon between 1644 and 1647 does not appear. He seems to have left his wife and children in the parish of Bray; the legal fifths, which were to go to their maintenance, were withheld by Woodward, and the family were ‘ready to starve.’ Hales, though himself in straits, and obliged to sell part of his library, assisted them with considerable sums. In 1647, through the influence of Sir John Robinson, a kinsman of Laud, Farindon was chosen minister of St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street. Branston says that ‘in a short time the congregation so increased that it was very difficult to get a place.’ The Milk Street church was known as ‘the scholars' church,’ and Farindon had Hammond and Sanderson among his auditors. He complied with the existing restrictions by not using the Book of Common Prayer, but this did not save him from the effect of the harsh measures which pursued the sequestered clergy. He is said to have been turned out of his London charge in 1651 or 1652, but this is inconsistent with the date (12 Dec. 1654) of his funeral sermon for Sir George Whitmore. It may be gathered from Walker's statements that he held his position till the taking effect (1 Jan. 1656) of Cromwell's declaration (24 Nov. 1655), which forbade sequestered clergy to preach in public. On the two Sundays preceding his departure a clerical friend preached for him, when the parishioners made collections at the church doors, and presented him with 400l.

He returned to the country, and was in the daily habit of paying a visit to Hales, then reduced to a ‘mean lodging’ at Eton, where in May he died. On learning his friend's circumstances, Farindon said: ‘I have at present money to command, and to-morrow will pay you fifty pounds in part of the many sums I and my poor wife have received of you in our great necessities, and will pay you more, suddenly, as you shall want it.’ Hales, though nearly at his last shilling of ready money, refused to take a penny from Farindon. It was to Farindon that Hales gave directions for his simple funeral.

Farindon died in the country on 9 Oct. 1658; it is not certain whether he had been allowed to resume his London ministry; he was buried at the church in Milk Street. His will, which is dated 6 Oct., mentions his sons Anthony and Charles, and four daughters.

Farindon's reputation rests upon a hundred and thirty sermons, of which thirty-one were published by himself, in a volume dedicated to Robinson, his patron, the remainder by his executors, John Millington and John Powney (son of an old servant of Hales). At the university he had been ‘a noted preacher’ (Walker), and his discourses, though more remarkable for force of style than polish of manner, will always be valued for their grasp of learning and strength of thought. Jackson very happily says of Farindon's use of ancient authors, that he ‘employs them only as his servants, not as his masters.’ His breadth of treatment shows the influence of Hales, and without disparagement to his orthodoxy he may be ranked with the more cautious of the latitude men.

His works are: 1. ‘XXX. Sermons,’ &c., 1657, fol. (some copies are dated MDCXLVII., the British Museum copy has MDCLVII.; the dedication is dated 20 April 1657; in reality there are thirty-one sermons). 2. ‘Forty Sermons,’ &c. 1663, fol. (edited by Anthony Scattergood for the executors). These two volumes were reprinted in 1672, fol.; but the reprint differs both in number of sermons (having eight additional) and in their arrangement. 3. ‘Fifty Sermons,’ &c. 1674, fol. (Jackson thinks the sermon on Ps. li. 12 not genuine). There is a complete edition of the sermons, 1849, 8vo, 4 vols.

Farindon at the time of his death was collecting materials for a life of Hales. These papers were sent by Millington, his executor, to Izaak Walton, who placed them at the disposal of William Fulman [q. v.] The paper containing Farindon's account of his last visits to Hales (quoted above) came on Fulman's death into the hands of Archdeacon Davies of Sapperton, Gloucestershire, who communicated it to Walker. Chalmers, in his life of Hales, made some use of Farindon's materials, as digested by Fulman.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 457 (also under ‘Woodward’ and ‘Ireton’); Fasti, i. 365, 393, 452; Lloyd's Memoires, 1678, p. 543; Walker's Sufferings, 1714, ii. 94, 96, 240; Chalmers's Gen. Biog. Dict., 1814, xvii. 41 (art. ‘Hales’); Life, by T. Jackson, prefixed to 1849 edition of the sermons; autobiography of Sir John Branston in Ecclesiastic, October 1853, as quoted by Stoughton, Church of the Commonwealth, 1867, pp. 299, 300; extract from baptismal register of Sonning, per Archdeacon Pott.]

A. G.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.120
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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206 ii 18 Farindon, Anthony: for Branston read Bramston