Chetwynd, John (DNB00)

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CHETWYND or CHETWIND, JOHN (1623–1692), divine, eldest son of Dr. Edward Chetwynd [q. v.] and Helena, daughter of Sir John Harington, was born at Banwell, Somersetshire, on 4 Jan. 1623. At the age of fifteen he was admitted a commoner of Exeter College, Oxford, where he took the B.A. degree in 1642. On leaving the university he threw in his lot with the presbyterians, seemingly at the instigation of his uncle, John Harington. He took the covenant, and, returning to Oxford when the visitors appointed by parliament were sitting, received the M.A. degree in October 1648. He then became a joint-pastor for the parish of St. Cuthbert in Wells, and while thus employed published in 1653, in addition to two or three sermons, a book written by his maternal grandfather, and entitled ‘A Briefe View of the Church of England in Queen Elizabeth's and King James's Reigne to the yeere 1608.’ This work, for which Chetwynd wrote a short introduction, is fairly described on the title-page as ‘a character and history of the bishops of those times, and may serve as an additional supply to Doctor Goodwin’s catalogue of bishops: written for the private use of Prince Henry upon the occasion of that proverb—

Henry viii pull'd down monks and their cells.
Henry ix should pull down bishops and their bells.’

At the Restoration Chetwynd saw fit to change his theological views, and after taking orders was appointed vicar of Temple in Bristol. He was also presented to a public lectureship in the same city, and later became a prebendary of the cathedral. Several of his sermons were printed, and show that the popularity with which Chetwynd was credited as a preacher was not undeserved. Chetwynd died on 30 Dec. 1692, and was buried in the chancel of Temple Church. The only non-religious work published by Chetwynd was 'Anthologia Historica, containing 14 Centuries of Memorable Passages and Remarkable Occurrents collected out of the English, Spanish, Imperial, and Jewish Histories,' which appeared in 1674, and, as the title implies, is nothing but a very ordinary commonplace book. In the dedication of this work the compiler describes himself as the poor kinsman of the Lady Gerard, baroness of Gerard Bromeley, of the Right Worshipful Walter Chetwynd [q. v.] of Ingestre, and of William Chetwynd of Ridgeley in Staffordshire.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iv. 875; Brit. Mus Cat.]

A. V.