Warren, Matthew (DNB00)

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WARREN, MATTHEW (1642–1706), nonconformist divine and tutor, younger son of John Warren of Otterford, Somerset, was born in 1642. He was educated at Crewkerne grammar school, and St. John's College, Oxford, where he matriculated on 3 July 1658. At the Restoration he left Oxford with his tutor. After a year at Reading he returned to Otterford, and began to preach. He held no benefice, but was silenced by the Uniformity Act, 1662. After this he employed himself as a tutor.

Warren was one of the first nonconformists who trained students for the ministry. The date at which he began this work is uncertain, but it was not later than 1671, when John Shower [q. v.] entered with him. Among his early pupils was Christopher Taylor (d. 26 Oct. 1723), in whose ordination at Lyme Regis, Dorset, he took part on 25 Aug. 1687. By this time he had removed to Taunton, where, in conjunction with Emanuel Hartford (d. 4 Aug. 1706, aged 65), he founded a dissenting congregation under the declaration for liberty of conscience (1687). At Taunton he continued his academy; his most distinguished pupil was Henry Grove [q. v.] . Warren's own views and methods were old-fashioned, but he encouraged his students to read modern books and promoted biblical criticism. He was very successful in his congregation at Paul's meeting, which is said to have had two thousand adherents; it ranked originally as presbyterian, but is now independent. He died at Taunton on 14 June 1706. His funeral sermon was preached by John Sprint of Milbournport. He was married and left issue. Christopher Taylor wrote a Latin epitaph for him.

[Funeral Sermon, 1707, with appended memoir (probably by Christopher Taylor); Calamy's Continuation, 1727, ii. 747; Amory's Preface to Grove's Works, 1740, p. xiv; Wilson's Dissenting Churches of London, 1808, ii. 309, 1814 iv. 393; Murch's Hist. Presb. Gen. Bapt. Churches in West of England, 1835, p. 194; James's Hist. Litig. and Legis. Presb. Chapels and Charities, 1867, p. 676; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714.]

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