Heylyn, John (DNB00)

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HEYLYN, JOHN (1685?–1759), divine, was eldest son of John Heylyn, citizen and saddler of London, who died at Chelsea on 24 Sept. 1736, and is said to have acquired a large fortune by army contracts. His mother was Susanna, sister of Thomas Sherman of St Andrew's Holborn. He was educated at Westminster, where he was admitted into college in 1700. In 1705 he was elected scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. 1708, M.A. 1711, and D.D. 1728. Rud records in his 'Diary' that Heylyn 'preach'd a very fine sermon at the archidiaconal visitation of Dr Bewley in December 1710 (Cambr. Antiq. Soc. Public, 8vo, No. v. p. 19). He became the first rector of the modern St. Mary-le-Strand on 1 Jan. 1724 and held that living until his death. He was also rector of Sunbury, Middlesex, a prebendary of St. Paul's, and a chaplain in ordinary to George II. On 2 July 1729 he was chosen lecturer of All Hallows, Lombard Street, and on 21 March 1745 was installed prebendary of Westminster. He died on 11 Aug. 1759 aged 74 and was buried on 17th in Westminster Abbey, where there is a monument to his memory. He married twice. His second wife, Elizabeth, then daughter of Mrs Elizabeth Ebbutt of St. Margaret's Westminster, died on 9 June 1747, aged 49.

From his indulgence in mysticism, Heylyn acquired the name of the 'Mystic Doctor.' He was the author of 'Theological Lectures at Westminster Abbey, with an Interpretation of the Four Gospels. To which are added some Select Discourses upon the principal points of the Revealed Religion' London, 1749, 4to. A second part of this work, entitled 'An Interpretation of the New Testament...containing the Acts of the Apostles', &c , was prepared by Heylyn for the press, but was not published until after his death (London, 1761, 4to). He also published six single sermons, one of which was delivered by him at the consecration of his friend Joseph Butler, bishop of Bristol (London 1789, 8vo). According to Allibone, 'Seventeen' and 'Forty' of his 'Discourses' were published in 1770 and 1793 respectively.

[Alumni Westmin. 1852, pp. 237, 245; Chester's Westminster Abbey Registers (Harl. Soc. Publ. no. x) pp. 371. 383. 394, 395; Le Neve's Fasti, ii. 436. xi 389; Monthly Review, July 1761, xxv. 32-4l; Gent. Mag. 1759. p. 392; Malcolm's Lond. Red. i. 162, iv. 383: Neale's Westminster Abbey. ii. 268; Grad. Cantabr. 1853. p. 232; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. F. R. B.