Bassnett, Christopher (DNB00)

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BASSNETT, CHRISTOPHER (1677?–1744), nonconformist minister whose birthplace is unknown, is believed by Wilson to be related to Samuel Bassnett of Coventry (whose father was mayor in 1625). Samuel Bassnett was ejected from the lectureship of St. Michael's in 1662 as a congregationalist, and removed to Atherstone in 1665, where he died. Christopher entered the Rev. Richard Frankland's academy at Rathmel as student for the ministry on 1 April 1696. He was an intimate friend of Matthew Henry, who says in a manuscript diary, 20 July 1709, ‘recommended Mr. Basnet to Liverpool,’ and 1 Aug. ‘he is inclined to accept.’ He ministered to the congregation at Kaye or Key Street, Liverpool, then included in the Warrington presbyterian classis (meeting-house opened on 24 Nov. 1707). He was incapacitated by illness from 23 March 1711 to 26 Jan. 1712. He married, on 9 Feb. 1713, Mrs. Cheney of Manchester, daughter of the Rev. Samuel Eaton (d. 1729). He assisted in establishing a school for the free education of poor children in Liverpool in 1716. He had John Brekell as a colleague from 1728. He died on 22 July 1744, æt. 68. Bassnett was a homely, useful preacher, with puritan unction. He published: 1. ‘Zebulun's Blessing opened and applied, &c.,’ 1714 (eight sermons to seafaring men and traders, occasioned by the construction of a new dock, and memorable for the comment on Luke xiv. 20: ‘But why could not the fool bring his wife along with him?’ &c., p. 55); and 2. ‘Church Officers and their Mission,’ &c., 1717 (sermon at ordination of Henry Winder and Benjamin Mather at St. Helen's).

[Funeral Sermon (unprinted) by H. Winder, some of Bassnett's papers, and Minutes of Warrington Class, 1719–22, among Winder's MSS. in Renshaw Street Chapel, Liverpool; Wilson's MSS. in Dr. Williams's Library (esp. Biog. Coll. i. 99, Prot. Diss. Vitæ, 71, 73); Key Street Bapt. Register in Somerset House; Toulmin's Hist. View of Prot. Diss. 1814, p. 581; Thom's Liverpool Churches and Chapels, 1854, p. 6.]

A. G.