Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Livesey, James

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LIVESEY, JAMES (1625?–1682), divine, was born about 1625 (he describes himself as having completed his fifty-second year on 6 April 1677). He was appointed minister of Turton, near Bolton in Lancashire, in 1650, but in 1651 removed to Atherton or Chowbent in the adjoining parish of Leigh. He remained there till 1657, when he was presented by the dean and chapter of Christ Church, Oxford, to the vicarage of Great Budworth, Cheshire. His name is omitted from the list of the vicars of Great Budworth, given in Ormerod's ‘History of Cheshire,’ both old and new editions, and he is also said in other publications to have been ejected thence in 1662, but to have continued to live in the parish. This is inaccurate, as he held that important vicarage till his death in February 1681–2. He married, about 1652, Elizabeth, daughter of George Chetham of Turton Tower (brother of Humphrey Chetham [q. v.] of Manchester), by whom he had a large family. His works, three in number, now all of great rarity, show him to have been a man of good scholastic attainments, thoroughly familiar with Latin and Greek writers, whom he quotes freely. He is described as A.M. on the title of his last work, but not on the earlier ones. His name, however, is not to be found either at Oxford or Cambridge, although he held a Christ Church living.

His publications are: 1. ‘Enchiridion Judicum … a Sermon before the Judges … at Lancaster, March 26, 1655, together with Catastrophe Magnatum … a Sermon … at the Funeral of … John Atherton of Atherton, Esq. …,’ London, 1657. At the end of this volume are a number of verses on John Atherton's death in English and Latin, by him and others, and a short treatise by him in Latin, ‘Series Decretorum Dei,’ &c., dedicated to two well-known Lancashire clergymen. 2. ‘Ψυχησήμια, or The greatest Loss … a short Discourse occasioned by the … loss of … Mr. Humphrey Chetham, who died at Turton Tower, Feb. 13 1658–9 …,’ London, 1660. 3. ‘Πνευματοπολογία, or an Apology for the Power and Liberty of the Spirit … in three Sermons preacht at Great Budworth …,’ London, 1674.

[Martindale's Autobiog. (Chetham Soc.), p. 220 n.; Nonconformity in Cheshire, p. 401 (both inaccurate); Great Budworth registers, wills, copies of his works, &c.]

J. P. E.