Butterfield, Robert (DNB00)

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BUTTERFIELD, ROBERT (fl. 1629), controversialist, received his academical education at St. John's College, Cambridge, as a member of which house he proceeded B.A. in 1622-3, M.A. in 1626, and took orders. When the puritan divine, Henry Burton [q. v.], attacked Bishop Hall, Butterfield, with youthful zeal, hastened to champion the bishop's cause in a pamphlet entitled 'Maschil; or, a Treatise to give instruction touching the State of the Church of Rome . . . for the Vindication of ... the Bishop of Exeter from the cavills of H. B., in his Book intituled "The Seven Vialls,"' 12mo, 1629. Burton was not slow to reply; for the same year he published his 'Babel no Bethel. . . . In answer to Hugh Cholmley's Challenge and Rob. Butterfield's "Maschil," two masculine Champions for the Synagogue of Rome,' wherein he retorts, not without point, on Butterfield's boyish presumption and too evident desire to parade his classical and patristic learning, wishing him 'more ripenesse of yeares, and more soundnesse of judgement, before he doe any more handle such deepe controuersies.' Burton was sent to the Fleet prison for his pamphlet. Another reply was published about the same time, under the title of 'Maschil Unmasked,' in which the writer, Thomas Spencer, gent., author of 'The Art of Logick,' seeks to supply the defects of his learning and also logic by versatility of abuse.

[Cooper's New Biographical Dictionary, 334; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. G.