Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Isham, Zacheus

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ISHAM, ZACHEUS (1651–1705), divine, was the son of Thomas Isham, rector of Barby, Northamptonshire (d. 1676), by his wife Mary Isham (d. 1694). He was grandson of another Zacheus, who was first cousin once removed of Sir John Isham of Lamport, Northamptonshire, first baronet (d. 1651). He matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, in 1666, and was successively student, B.A. (1671), M.A. (1674), B.D. (1682), and D.D. (1689). After taking his degree in 1671 he acted for some time as tutor to Sir Thomas Isham, third baronet [see under Isham, Sir Justinian], and accompanied him on his travels in Italy and elsewhere. In 1679 he was an interlocutor in the divinity school at Oxford (Taswell, ‘Autobiography’ in Camden's Miscellany, iii. 28), and was speaker of the Morrisian oration in honour of Sir Thomas Bodley in 1683 (Macray, Annals of the Bodleian Library, p. 151). He was appointed chaplain to Dr. Compton [q. v.], bishop of London, about 1685, obtained a prebend at St. Paul's in 1685–6, and was in 1691 installed a canon at Canterbury Cathedral. He became rector of St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, in 1694, represented the clergy of the diocese of London in the convocation of 1696 (Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 552, v. 572), and was in 1701 appointed rector of Solihull, Warwickshire, where he died on 5 July 1705. He was buried in Solihull Church, and there is a monument to him on the chancel floor in which he is described as ‘Vir singulari eruditione et gravitate præditus, in concionando celeberrime fœcundus’ (Dugdale, Warwickshire, ed. Thomas, ii. 944). Isham was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Pittis, chaplain to Charles II; he had four sons and four daughters, the second of whom, Mary (d 1750), married Arthur Brooke, grandfather of Sir Richard de Capell Brooke, first baronet.

Besides sermons, including one on the death of Dr. John Scott (1694), which is incorporated in Wilford's ‘Memorials,’ Isham published: 1. ‘The Catechism of the Church, with Proofs from the New Testament,’ 1695, 8vo. 2. ‘Philosophy containing the Book of Job, Proverbs, and Wisdom, with explanatory notes,’ 1706, 8vo. There is a small work of his among the Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian Library entitled ‘The Catechism of the Church, with Proofs from the New Testament, and some additional questions and answers,’ 1694. An attestation by Isham and others is prefixed to ‘George Keith's Fourth Narrative … detecting the Quakers' Gross Errors in Quotations … ,’ 1706, 4to.

[Wood's Athenæ, iv. 654; Fasti, ii. 407; Cole's Athenæ Cantabr. i. f. 77; Dart's History and Antiquities of Canterbury Cathedral, 1726, p. 202; Colvile's Warwickshire Worthies, p. 456; Bridges's Northamptonshire, i. 26, ii. 112; Hearne's Collections, ed. Doble, i. 322; Hasted's Kent, iii. 188, iv. 615; Ellis Orig. Lett. 2nd ser. iv. 65, where Isham is wrongly described as dean of Christ Church; information from the Rev. H. Isham Longden.]

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