Wilkinson, Henry (1610-1675) (DNB00)

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WILKINSON, HENRY (1610–1675), canon of Christ Church, Oxford, son of Henry Wilkinson (1566-1647), by his wife Sarah, was born at Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, on 4 March 1609-10. His father, who was elected fellow of Merton College, Oxford, in 1586, was created B.D. on 7 July 1597, and was from 1601 till his death on 19 March 1646-7 rector of Waddesdon. He was chosen one of the Westminster divines in 1643, and published 'A Catechism' (4th edit. London, 1637, 8vo), and 'The Debt Book, or a Treatise upon Rom. xiii. 8' (London, 1625, 8vo). By his wife Sarah, daughter of Arthur Wake of Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire, and sister of Sir Isaac Wake [q. v.], he had six sons and three daughters.

Henry Wilkinson the younger matriculated from Magdalen Hall, Oxford, on 14 Feb. 1622-3, aged 12, graduated B.A. on 25 Nov. 1626, M.A. on 11 June 1629, and B.D. on 16 Nov. 1638 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500-1714). He preached in and about Oxford, although not, Wood says, without 'girds against the actions and certain men of the times.' For a sermon attacking some of the ceremonies of the church, preached at St. Mary's on 6 Sept. 1640, Wilkinson was suspended from his divinity lecture, and from all his priestly functions in the university until he should recant. He appealed to the Long parliament, and in December 1640 was restored by the committee of religion of that body, who ordered the sermon to be printed.

Subsequently Wilkinson removed to London, was appointed minister of St. Faith's under St. Paul's, chosen a member of the Westminster assembly, and in 1645 became rector of St. Dunstan's-in-the-East. In 1646 he was one of the six preachers despatched by the Long parliament to Oxford, where he was chosen senior fellow of Magdalen, and deputed a parliamentary visitor. On 12 April 1648 he was appointed canon of Christ Church on the expulsion of Dr. Thomas Iles. He was created D.D. on 24 July 1649, and elected Margaret professor of divinity on 12 July 1652, which office he filled until 1662. In 1654 he served on the commission for ejecting scandalous ministers from Oxfordshire. He was known in Oxford as 'Long Harry' or 'senior' to distinguish him from Henry Wilkinson (1616–1690) [q. v.]

After the Restoration he was ejected from his professorship by the king's commissioners and left Oxford. Wilkinson preached first at All Hallows, Lombard Street, and afterwards at Clapham. A conventicle of sixty or more persons to whom he was preaching was broken up at Camberwell in August 1665 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1664-5, p. 539). After the 'indulgence' he took out a license on 2 April 1672 for his house or the schoolhouse at Clapham to be a presbyterian meeting-house. He was well known and highly appreciated around London as a preacher, and when he died on 5 June 1675 either at Deptford or Putney (Wood says he heard both places mentioned), his body was conducted by many hundreds of persons to Drapers' Hall, and thence to its burial in St. Dunstan's Church.

According to Wood he married 'a woman called the lady Carr,' and in his will, proved 5 April 1675, he mentions one son and two daughters. Wood also remarks that his voice in preaching was shrill and whining, and his sermons full of dire confusion, yet admits that he was 'a good scholar, a close student, and an excellent preacher.' Some elegiac verses were published as a broadside shortly after his death (British Museum). Wilkinson also published three separate sermons preached before parliament. Others appear in Samuel Annesley's 'Morning Exercise,' 1661, and ' Supplement,' 1674 (republished in 1844).

[Brook's Lives of the Puritans, iii. 59; Masson's Milton, ii. 523 ; Wood's Athenae Oxon. iii. 230, 1628 iv. 136, 334, and his Fasti, passim; Walker's Early Registers of Halifax, p. 8 ; Lipscomb's Hist. of Bucks, i. 496, 501; Palmer's Nonconformist's Memorial, i. 241; Burrows's Visitation, pp. 110 n., 493, 514, 567; Wood's Life and Times, ed. Clark, i. 130, 147, ii. 96, 317, 475, 513, iv. 60, 61; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1671-2, p. 273; Bloxam's Reg. of Magdalen Coll. ii. c. v. 104; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, i. 123, 131, 133, 135, 137, 140; Le Neve's Fasti Eccles. Angl. iii. 519; Calamy's Continuation, ii. 61.]

C. F. S.