king to the vicarage of Ashbrittle, Somerset, holding that preferment down to 1645. On 18 May 1629 he was presented by Sir Hugh Portman to the rectory of Puckington in the same county. He was collated to the prebend of Wedmore Tertia in Wells Cathedral in 1642, and on 14 Dec. 1644 he was instituted to the rectory of Odcombe, Somerset, upon the presentation of the king, during the minority of his distant kinsman, Sir John Sydenham, bart.; but he held this preferment for little more than a year, when he was ejected from all his benefices by the parliamentary commissioners. Though very devout and learned in biblical lore, Sydenham was an unbending royalist and suffered accordingly. ‘Consummata eloquentia celeberrimus,’ he is described by Lloyd as ‘happy in having the tongue of men and angels’ (Memoirs, p. 625). ‘A person of a quaint and curious style, better at practical than at school divinity,’ he was so eloquent and fluent a preacher that he was ‘commonly called “Silver Tongue Sydenham”’ (Wood). His numerous dedications and epistles dedicatory show what a panegyrical turn he could give to his silvery periods. He appears to have died in 1650, and was buried at Dulverton. An elder brother, Roger, matriculated from Exeter College, Oxford, and entered the Middle Temple in 1607.
Sydenham's works are: 1. ‘Natures Overthrow and Deaths Triumph … preached at the Funeral of Sir John Sydenham, kt., at Brimpton, 15 Dec. 1625;’ dedicated to his affectionate kinsman, John Sydenham, London, 1626, and 1636. 2. ‘Five Sermons upon severall occasions preached at Paul's Crosse and at St. Maries in Oxford,’ London, 1626, 4to; dedicated to ‘Lord Danvers, Earle of Dandy,’ 1626 , 8vo. 3. ‘Sermons by Humph. Sydenham, late Fellow of Wadham College. Religioni non Gloriæ,’ London, 1630, 8vo; with an epistle dedicatory to Sir Hugh Portman, bart. Several of these discourses had appeared separately with much acceptance, notably ‘The Rich Man's Warning Peece’ and ‘Waters of Marah,’ directed against the ‘Pseudo-Zealots of our Age.’ 4. ‘Sermons upon Solemn Occasions: preached in severall Auditories,’ London, 1637, 8vo, dedicated to William Laud, archbishop of Canterbury. Of these, two sermons preached at Taunton assizes, 1634 and 1635, were issued separately as ‘The Christian Duell’ (London, 1837, 4to), with a dedication to Sir John Poulett.[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 274; Clark's Oxf. Univ. Registers, i. 269; Gardiner's Regist. of Wadham, i. 9; Boase's Registers of Exeter Coll. ii. 314; Weaver's Somerset Incumbents, pp. 157, 309, 423; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, p. 76; Brit. Mus. Cat.]
SYDENHAM, JOHN (1807–1846), antiquary, eldest son of John Sydenham, a bookseller of Poole, Dorset, was born in that town on 25 Sept. 1807. He was educated in his native town, and in 1829 became editor of the ‘Dorset County Chronicle.’ In 1839 he published ‘The History of the Town and County of Poole’ (Poole, 8vo), a work of considerable research and arranged with great clearness. In 1841 he wrote ‘Baal Durotrigensis’ (London, 8vo), a dissertation on an ancient colossal figure at Cerne in Dorset, in which he endeavoured to discriminate between the primal Celtæ and the later Celto-Belgæ, who emigrated from Gaul. In the following year Sydenham left the ‘Dorset Chronicle’ and became editor of ‘The West Kent Guardian,’ a Greenwich paper. In January 1846 he returned to Poole and started ‘The Poole and Dorsetshire Herald,’ of which he was editor and part-proprietor. Within a year, however, he died at Poole on 1 Dec. 1846. He married, in 1833, a daughter of William Zillwood, a schoolmaster of Dorchester, by whom he had six children. He was ‘one of the first members’ of the British Archæological Association.[Private information kindly given by Mr. John Zillwood Sydenham; Gent. Mag. 1847, i. 211; Journal of the British Archæological Association, iii. 139; Mayo's Bibliotheca Dorsetiensis, pp. 127, 187.]
SYDENHAM, THOMAS (1624–1689), physician, born on 10 Sept. 1624 at Wynford Eagle, Dorset, was the fourth son of William Sydenham, gentleman, of Wynford Eagle, by his wife Mary, daughter of Sir John Jeffrey, kt., of Catherston, whom he married in 1611. The family was originally of Sydenham, near Bridgewater, Somerset. The Dorset branch began with Thomas Sydenham, who bought the manor of Wynford Eagle in the time of Henry VIII, and was the great-grandfather of Sydenham's father.
William Sydenham was a man of good estate, and of importance in the county. On the outbreak of the civil war he, with his family, actively supported the puritan party, and four, if not five, sons (i.e. all but two who died in infancy) appear to have served in the army of the parliament (cf. Hutchins, Hist. of Dorset, 3rd ed. 1864, ii. 703). Of these brothers, William [q. v.] was afterwards well known as Colonel Sydenham.