Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pocklington, John

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POCKLINGTON, JOHN, D.D. (d. 1642), divine, received his education at Sidney College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1598. He was admitted a fellow of his college on the Blundell foundation in 1600, commenced M.A. in 1603, and proceeded to the degree of B.D. in 1610. While at Cambridge he held extremely high-church views. In January 1610 he was presented to the vicarage of Babergh, Suffolk. On 15 May 1611 the Earl of Kent, with the consent of Lord Harington, wrote to Sidney College to dispense with Pocklington's holding a small living with cure of souls (Addit. MS. 5847, f. 207). On 13 Jan. 1612 he was elected to a fellowship at Pembroke College, Cambridge, which he resigned in 1618. He was created D.D. in 1621. He became rector of Yelden, Bedfordshire, vicar of Waresley, Huntingdonshire, and one of the chaplains to Charles I.

On 31 Oct. 1623 he was collated to the fourth stall in Peterborough cathedral, and on 25 Nov. 1626 to the prebend of Langford Ecclesia in the church of Lincoln. He was also appointed chaplain to the bishop of Lincoln. Soon afterwards he published 'Sunday no Sabbath. A Sermon preached before the Lord Bishop of Lincolne at his Lordshipa Visitation at Ampthill. . . Aug. 17, 1635,' London (two editions), 1636, 4to. This was followed by 'Altare Christianum; or the dead Vicars Plea. Wherein the Vicar of Gr[antham], being dead, yet speaketh, and pleadeth out of Antiquity against him that hath broken downe his Altar,' London, 1637, 4to. The arguments advanced in the latter work were answered in 'A Quench-Coale,' 1637. Pocklington was appointed a canon of the collegiate chapel of Windsor by patent on 18 Dec. 1639, and installed on 5 Jan. 1639-1640. On 14 Sept. 1640 he was at York, and wrote a long letter to Sir John Lambe, describing the movements of the royal army (Dom., Car. I, vol. cccclxvii. No. 61).

Among the king's pamphlets in the British Museum is 'The Petition and Articles exhibited in Parliament against John Pocklington, D.D., Parson of Yelden, Bedfordshire, Anno 1641,' London, 1641, 4to; reprinted in Howell's ' State Trials' (v. 747). He was charged with being 'a chief author and ringleader in all those [ritualistic] innovations which have of late flowed into the Church of England.' On 12 Feb. 1640-1 he was sentenced by the House of Lords never to come within the verge of the court, to be deprived of all his preferments, and to have his two books, 'Altare Christianum' and 'Sunday no Sabbath,' publicly burnt in the city of London and in each of the universities by the hand of the common executioner. When Pocklington was deprived of his preferments, William Bray, D.D., who had licensed his works, was enjoined to preach a recantation sermon in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster (Heylyn, Life of Laud, p. 441). Pocklington died on 14 Nov. 1642, and was buried on the 16th in the precincts of Peterborough cathedral.

A copy of Pocklington's will in the British Museum (Lansdowne MS. 990, art. 20, f. 74) is dated 6 Sept. 1642; in it bequests are made to his daughters Margaret and Elizabeth, and his sons John and Oliver. His wife Anne (who died in 1655) was made sole executrix. He ordered his body 'to be buried in Monks' churchyard, at the foot of those monks' martyrs whose monument is well known.'

[Information from J. W. Clark, esq.; Addit. MSS. 5852 f. 214, 5878 f. 77; Bridges's Northamptonshire, ii. 566; Fuller's Appeal of Injured Innocence, pt. iii. pp. 45, 46; Hawes's Hist. of Framlingham (Loder), p. 247; Heylyn's Life of Laud, pp. 295, 313; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), ii. 165, 548, iii. 402; Lysons's Bedfordshire, p. 156; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. viii. 215, ix. 247, x. 37; Prynne's Canterburies Doome, pp. 186, 190, 221, 357, 358, 513, 516; Prynne's Hidden Works of Darkness, p. 179; Quench Coale, pref. p. xxxii, pp. 294, 312; Richardson's Athenae Cantabr. MS. p. 123; Cal. of State Papers, Dom. 1634-5 p. 346, 1637 p. 551, 1638-1639 p. 534, 1639-40 pp. 168, 203, 520, 1640-1641 pp. 61, 355; Walker's Sufferings, i. 55, ii. 95; Willis's Survey of Cathedrals, iii. 521; Wood's Fasti Oxon. (Bliss), i. 301.]

T. C.