Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pigg, Oliver

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PIGG, OLIVER (fl. 1580), puritan divine, born about 1551, was of Essex origin. He was admitted pensioner of St. John's College, Cambridge, on 6 Oct. 1565, and scholar on 8 Nov. 1566. He graduated B.A. in 1568–9, and was rector of All Saints', Colchester, 1569–71 (Newcourt, ii. 164), of St. Peter's, Colchester, 1569–79, and Abberton in Essex, 1571–8 (ib. ii. 3). In 1578 he was also beneficed in the diocese of Norwich (Davids, Nonconf. in Essex, p. 69), and in February 1583 was temporarily appointed to the cure of Rougham, Suffolk (cf. State Papers, Dom. Eliz. clviii. 79). In July of the same year Pigg, who was an earnest puritan, was imprisoned at Bury St. Edmunds on the charge of dispraising the Book of Common Prayer, especially by putting the question in the baptismal service, ‘Dost thou believe?’ to the parents in place of the child. In a petition for release to the justices of Bury he declared his ‘detestation of the proceedings of Browne, Harrison, and their favourers’ (ib. clxi. 83). Before the next assizes he conformed, and after some little trouble was discharged (Davids, p. 69).

In 1587, at a meeting held at Cambridge, under the presidency of Cartwright, to promote church discipline, Pigg and Dyke were nominated superintendents of the puritan ministers for Hertfordshire (Strype, Annals, iii. i. 691, ii. 479; Urwick, p. 115). In 1589 he seems to have preached in Dorchester (State Papers, Dom. Eliz. ccxxiii. 83), and in 1591 was in London.

Pigg wrote, besides a sermon on the 101st psalm:

  1. ‘A comfortable Treatise upon the latter part of the fourth chapter of the first Epistle of St. Peter, from the twelfth verse to the ende,’ London, 1582.
  2. ‘Meditations concerning Prayer to Almighty God for the Safety of England when the Spaniards were come into the Narrow Seas, 1588. As also other Meditations for delivering England from the Cruelty of the Spaniards,’ London, 1588, 8vo (Tanner, Bibl. Brit. p. 599).

[Cooper's Athenæ Cant.; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 599; Strype's Annals, III. i. 691, ii. 479; Ames's Typogr. Antiq. (Herbert), pp. 1140, 1246, 1330, 1332; Newcourt's Repertorium; Cat. Cambr. Univ. MSS. i. 463; Urwick's Nonconf. in Hertfordshire, pp. 115, 602–3; Davids's Nonconf. in Essex, p. 69; Dexter's Congregationalism, p. 84 n.; State Papers, Dom.]

W. A. S.