Reyner, Edward (DNB00)

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REYNER, EDWARD (1600–1668), ejected minister, was born in the parish of Morley, near Leeds, in 1600. Tobie Matthew [q. v.], archbishop of York, took some notice of him as a boy, and foretold that he would rise to distinction. A pious youth, he attended the monthly exercises at Leeds, Pudsey, and Halifax, and heard numerous sermons. After graduating B.A. in 1620 from St. John's College, Cambridge (M.A. 1624), he taught in a school at Aserby, Lincolnshire, and afterwards took charge of the Countess of Warwick's school at Market Rasen. At the close of four years Lady Warwick gave him a lectureship which she supported at Welton. Thence he was invited to Lincoln, where he remained nearly forty years. He was appointed lecturer at St. Benedict's on 13 Aug. 1626, and on 26 Feb. 1627 was presented by the king to the rectory of St. Peter at Arches, to which the vicarage of St. Benedict's was attached.

Despite Reyner's refusal to conform to all the ceremonies, his eloquence drew to his church the chancellor of the cathedral and other officials. He preached during the visitations of Bishop John Williams, and was collated to the prebend of St. Botolph's at Lincoln on 10 Sept. 1635. In 1639 he declined the offer of the pastorate of the English congregation at Arnhem, Holland. In the same year orders were sent him from the ecclesiastical court to certify quarterly, or as often as required, of his conformity to the common prayer.

After suffering much indignity, Reyner escaped from Lincoln during the royalist occupation. For a time he preached at Yarmouth on Sundays. But he soon settled at Norwich, and gave two week-day lectures at St. Andrew's Church in that city (1643-1645). He returned to Lincoln on 29 Oct. 1645 on receipt of a call under the seal of the corporation, and of an order from the Westminster assembly of divines. He preached regularly at St. Peter's in the morning, and at the cathedral in the afternoon, adopting the congregationalist system. His sermons were chiefly directed against antinomianism and anabaptism. During the siege of Newark Reyner preached to the parliamentary army on the fast day appointed for 27 March 1646, and the sermon was printed (London, 1646, 8vo). He did not take the 'engagement' but agreed to the Savoy confession of faith. He was ejected from his benefice in 1662, but appears to have remained at Lincoln, where he died before May 1668. By his wife Elizabeth he had two sons: John (b. 1624), a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, whence he was ejected at the Restoration, and Joseph.

Reyner wrote: 1. 'Precepts for Christian Practice,' with a preface by Edmund Calamy (1600-1666) [q. v.], and a note by Dr. Thomas Manton [q. v.], London, 8th edit. 1655, 8vo; 11th edit. 1658; answered by Martin Mason [q. v.] in 'The Proud Pharisee reproved,' 1655, 4to. 2. 'Rules for the Government of the Tongue: together with Directions in six Particular Cases,' London, 1656, 8vo. 3.'Considerations concerning Marriage, with a Resolution of this Case of Conscience, whether a Man may lawfully marry his Wife's Sister,' London, 1657, 8vo, reprinted with 'Precepts,' 11th edit. London, 1657: the original manuscript, sent to London to the author's friend, Simeon Ashe [q. v.], was lost in May 1657; the work was rewritten a month or two later. 4. 'A Treatise of the Necessity of Humane Learning for a Gospel-preacher, shewing . . . the benefit of learning in all ages,' London, 1663. 5. 'The Being and Wellbeing of a Christian. In three Treatises: setting forth the Properties of the Righteous, the Excellency of Grace, the Nature and Sweetness of Fellowship with Christ,' London, 1669, 8vo, published posthumously. The last two were edited with introduction by his son John.

Another John Reyner was admitted to the Yarmouth congregational church, 1645, was ejected from Rollesby, Norfolk, in 1662, became a 'conscientious merchant' at Rotterdam, and died there in 1697.

[Calamy and Palmer, ii. 421; Calamy's Abridgment of Baxter's Life, &c. vol. ii.; Account of Ministers, p. 439; Calamy's Account, ii. 84; Kennett's Register, p. 937; Le Neve's Fasti Eccles. ed. Hardy, ii. 115; Bogue and Bennett's Hist. of Dissenters, i. 340; Willis's Survey of the Cathedrals, iii. 151; Browne's Hist. of Congregationalism in Norfolk and Suffolk, pp. 243, 594; Palmer's Cont. of Manship's Hist. of Yarmouth, p. 365; Notes and Queries, 6th ser. vi. 429, vii. 114; Taylor's Biographia Leodiensis, p. 559; Thoresby's Diary, i. 310, ii. 435; Admission Books of Emmanuel Coll. Cambr. per the master, Rev. Dr. Phear; Registers of St. Peter at Arches, Lincoln, and other transcripts, per A. Gibbs, F.S.A.]

C. F. S.