Lobb, Stephen (DNB00)

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LOBB, STEPHEN (d. 1699), nonconformist divine, was the son of Richard Lobb, M.P., of Liskeard, Mill Park, Warleggan, and Tremathick, St. Neots, Cornwall. In 1681 he settled in London as pastor of the independent congregation in Fetter Lane. He was accused of being concerned in the Rye House plot, and with another minister named Casteers arrested in Essex and committed to prison in August 1683 (Luttrell, Relation of State Affairs, 1857, i. 273, 275). After James II had issued his declaration for liberty of conscience (4 April 1687), Lobb was one of the ministers selected by the independents to present an address of thanks to him. His frequent attendance at court, for which he was sometimes called the 'Jacobite Independent,' led the church party to accuse him of promoting a repeal of the Test Act. When on 23 Sept. 1688 Grocers' Hall was opened by the lord major, Lobb preached the sermon (ib. i. 462). In 1694 he was chosen to fill one of the vacancies, occasioned by the exclusion of Daniel Williams, among the lecturers at the Pinners' Hall. He died on 3 June 1699. By the daughter of Theophilus Polwhele, nonconformist minister at Tiverton, Devonshire, he had three sons, Stephen (d. 1720), who conformed and became chaplain of Penzance Chapel, Cornwall, and vicar of Milton Abbot, Devonshire; Theophilus [q. v.]; and Samuel (d. 1760), who also conformed and obtained the rectory of Farleigh, Hungerford, Wiltshire. Mrs. Lobb died in 1691.

In conjunction with John Humfrey [q. v.] Lobb wrote in 1680 an 'Answer ... by some Nonconformists ' to a sermon preached by Dr. Edward Stillingfleet on the mischief of separation. Stillingfleet replied the same year in ' The Charge of Schism Renewed.' Lobb and Humfrey thereupon retorted with a 'Reply to the Defence of Dr. Stillingfleet,'

Lobb took a prominent part in the controversy between the presbyterian and independent denominations occasioned by the republication of Tobias Crisp's 'Works' with 'Additions' in 1690. To counteract what he considered to be Crisp's erroneous doctrine, Daniel Williams published in 1695 'A Defence of Gospel Truth.' Lobb joined issue with Williams in 'A Peceable Enquiry into the nature of the present controversie among our United Brethren about Justification,' pt. i. 8vo. London, 1693. Williams having briefly replied, Lobb published 'A Vindication of the Doctor, and myself' 4to, London, 1695. Lobb next wrote 'A Report of the present state of the differences in Doctrinals between some Dissenting Ministers in London,' 8vo, London, 1697. This was answered during the same year by Vincent Alsop in 'A Faithful Rebuke to a False Report.' Lobb rejoined with a 'Defence' of his 'Report' and 'Remarks' on Alsop's 'Rebuke' which was in turn castigated by Williams in 'The Answer to the Report,' &c., 1698. At length Lobb sent forth 'An Appeal to Dr. Stillingfleet and Dr. Edwards concerning Christ's Satisfaction,' 8vo, London, 1698, in which he insinuated that Williams and Richard Baxter favoured Socinianism. Stillingfleet in his admirable reply intimated that the dispute in his opinion was idle and profitless. Lobb, however, still pursued the controversy in 'A further Defence' of his ' Appeal,' and it was closed by Williams in a pamphlet called 'An End to Discord.' An anonymous disciple of Baxter disposed of Lobb's accusation in 'A Plea for the late Mr. Baxter,' 1699.

Lobb left a manuscript diary, which passed on his death into the possession of his son Theophilus.

[Wilson's Dissenting Churches, ii. 262, iii. 436-46; Thomas Goodwin's Funeral Sermon; Bogue'a Hist. of Dissenters, i. 399; A Dreadful Oration delivered by that surely afflicted Saint, Stephen Lobb, 1683; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub.; Boase's Collectanea Cornub. col. 505; will of his brother, Richard Lobb, reg. in P. C. C. 126, ecc.]

G. G.