Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Mayne, Zachary

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1405374Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 37 — Mayne, Zachary1894Bertha Porter

MAYNE, ZACHARY (1631–1694), religious writer, ‘sonne of Richard Maine,’ was born in Exeter, at the end of 1631, and baptised in St. Petrock's Church, on 1 Jan. 1631–2. He was entered at Christ Church, Oxford, 15 Oct. 1649, but by favour of the parliamentary visitors was soon made demy of Magdalen College. On 6 May 1652 he graduated B.A., although he had resided two or three terms less than the ordinary regulations required. The indulgence was allowed him at the request of Oliver Cromwell, on the recommendation of Thomas Goodwin [q. v.], at that time president of Magdalen College. Mayne was described by Cromwell as ‘eminently godly, of able parts, and willing to perform all his exercises.’ He was senior collector of the determining bachelors in the following Lent, fellow of Magdalen College in 1652, and M.A. on 6 July 1654. He became a preacher in and near Oxford, and a constant attendant at the weekly independent meeting held by Goodwin, whom Mayne described as ‘a very great friend, and as a father.’ He was appointed, by Goodwin's influence, on 23 March 1657–8, lecturer at St. Julian's Church in Shrewsbury, where he ‘gave no disturbance to the town, but … had a fair reception and acceptation.’ While there he was inclined at the suggestion of Dr. Henry Hammond [q. v.] to accept ordination from the Bishop of Bangor. The death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658 interrupted the plan. On preaching ‘Concerning the Salvability of the Heathen and of Universal Redemption,’ in St. Mary's Church, Oxford, in February 1660, he was convened before the vice-chancellor, Dr. Conant, and threatened with expulsion. He retired to London till the following May. His religious opinions vacillated. He is said to have had a leaning towards Socinianism, and to have passed thence to Arianism. His published works distinctly show him to have held Arminian views. Scruples as to his authority prevented him from administering the sacraments while he was an independent preacher. At the Restoration he was expelled from his fellowship, and retired to Dalwood in Dorsetshire, where, about 1671, he became a schoolmaster. He remained there till 19 Jan. 1689–90, when he was made master of the free grammar school in Exeter. In his latter years he conformed to the church (probably as a layman), and enthusiastically welcomed the revolution. He died in Exeter on 11 Nov. 1694, and was buried in the north aisle of St. Peter's Church, Dalwood, where lie also the remains of several of his children. A son, Samuel, of Exeter College (B.A. 1698 and M.A. 1701), proceeded B. Med. from New Inn Hall in 1708, practised medicine in Northampton, and died there in 1750, aged about 73.

Mayne published: 1. ‘St. Paul's Travailing Pangs … or a Treatise of Justification,’ London, 1662. Wood, who had never seen a copy of this rare book, gives it as two. ‘J. G.,’ who signs the ‘Advice to the Reader,’ prefixed to the work, was John Goodwin [q. v.] 2. ‘The Snare Broken,’ Oxford, 1692, 1694, anon., written ten or twelve years previous to publication, in which the author recants Socinian and Arian views, and tries to confute various calumnies. Edmund Elys [q. v.] of Totnes prefixed a Latin epistle, and Francis Lee [q. v.] an English one. 3. ‘Sanctification by Faith Vindicated,’ London, 1693, with a preface by R. Burscough, rector of Totnes.

He communicated to the Royal Society the description of a waterspout that took place at Topsham, near Exeter, on 7 Aug. 1694 (Philosophical Transactions, xix. 28, and in the abridged versions, 1716, ii. 104, and 1809, iv. 12). Two letters by Mayne, dated from Dalwood, 8 Oct. 1669 and 3 May 1671, are printed in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ 1794, part i. p. 11.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), vol. iv. cols. 411–414; Wood's Fasti (Bliss), vol. ii. cols. 169, 182; Bloxam's Reg. of Magdalen Coll. vol. ii. pp. cxvii–cxviii, 75 n.; Hutchins's Dorset, ii. 248; Carlyle's Cromwell, 1850, iv. 444; Cal. of State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1657–8, p. 338; Carlisle's Endowed Grammar Schools, i. 317; notice by the Rev. J. Ingle Dredge in Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 1889, p. 498; par. reg. of St. Petrock's, Exeter; information from the Rev. C. Lister James of Dalwood.]

B. P.