Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hardy, Samuel

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HARDY, SAMUEL (1636–1691), nonconformist minister, was born at Frampton, Dorsetshire, in 1636. He matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, 1 April 1656, and graduated B.A. on 14 Oct. 1659 (Gardiner, Wadham Registers, pt. i. p. 215). At the Restoration he was dismissed from his college for not taking the requisite oaths. Returning to his native county, he became chaplain in the family of the Trenchards, preaching at Charminster, Dorsetshire, a peculiar belonging to that family, exempt from episcopal jurisdiction and requiring no institution. Here he remained after the Uniformity Act of 1662, refusing institution, and supported in his refusal by his patron, Thomas Trenchard, who vowed to turn him out if he complied. He did, however, use 'a little conformity,' namely, 'reading the scripture sentences, the creed, commandments, lessons, prayer for the king, and some few other things.' In 1667 he moved to Poole, Dorsetshire, also a peculiar, on the invitation of the parishioners, and conducted the service as at Charminster. He acquired great influence at Poole, and seems to have been a man of tact and strength of purpose. As an instance of his philanthropy, it is mentioned that he collected while at Poole nearly 500l. for ransoming captives from slavery. He remained at Poole till 1682, when a royal commission was appointed to deal with his case. Three bishops were placed on the commission, but they declined to act lest it should prejudice the authority of their own courts. On 23 Aug. 1682 Hardy was ejected for not wearing the surplice and omitting the cross in baptism. He removed to Baddesley, Hampshire, and there remained more than two years; but his nonconformity led him into trouble, and he ceased to officiate in public. In 1685-7 he was chaplain in the Heal family at Abury Hatch, Essex. He retired to Newbury, Berkshire, in 1688, and died there on 6 March 1691, in his fifty-fourth year, according to Calamy, but 1636 is given as the date of his birth by Palmer, on the authority of Hutchins.

He published, with his initials: 1. 'The Guide to Heaven;' second part, with title 'The Second Guide to Heaven,' 1687, 8vo. Calamy speaks of it as 'suppos'd to be his,' and says it originally bore the title 'News from the Dead,' meaning 'the civilly dead nonconformists;' he questions' whether any one book has been oftner printed or done more good than that little homely book.' 2. 'Advice to Scattered Flocks,' 8vo (Calamy).

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon., ed. Bliss, iv. 264-5; Calamy's Account, 1713, pp. 281 sq.; Calamy's Continuation, 1727, i. 436 sq.; Palmer's Nonconformist's Memorial, 1802, ii. 145 sq.]

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