Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rosewell, Samuel

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ROSEWELL, SAMUEL (1679–1722), divine, born at Rotherhithe in 1679, was eldest son of Thomas Rosewell [q. v.], by his second wife. Owing to his father's death when he was twelve, Rosewell's education was unsettled, but he is stated to have graduated at a Scottish university.

He was chosen about 1701 as assistant to William Harris (1675?–1740) [q. v.] at Poor Jewry Lane presbyterian church, and continued there until invited in 1705 to assist John Howe (1630–1705) [q. v.] at the Silver Street Chapel, Wood Street, Cheapside. On 2 Aug. 1705 he was publicly ordained, and delivered his ‘Confession of faith,’ which was printed for his friends in 1706. It was afterwards reprinted without the author's name. After Howe's death, in 1705, Rosewell continued as assistant to John Spademan [q. v.], Howe's successor. At the same time he lectured at the Old Jewry on Sunday evenings, alternately with Benjamin Grosvenor [q. v.], and after the lecture was removed to Founder's Hall, Lothbury, in 1713, he was sole lecturer. He resigned his preferment from ill health in October 1719, and, removing to Mare Street, Hackney, died there, after a lingering illness, on 7 April 1722. His demeanour on his deathbed excited the admiration of his friend Isaac Watts [q. v.] He was buried in Bunhill Fields, near his father's grave. His wife, his mother, and his sisters all benefited by his will (P.C.C. 105, Marlbro).

He married, first, a daughter of Richard Russell, by whom he had no children; and secondly, Lettice, daughter of Richard Barrett, who died, aged 75, at Hackney, in 1762. By his second wife Rosewell had a son Thomas, and two daughters, Lettice and Susannah. A portrait, engraved by Vanderberghe, is given in the ‘Protestant Dissenters' Magazine’ for May 1794; another was engraved by Faber after J. Woolaston (Bromley).

Besides sermons, of which fifteen were separately published, Rosewell wrote: 1. ‘Seasonable Instruction for the Afflicted,’ London, 1711, 12mo. 2. ‘The Protestant Dissenters' Hopes from the Present Government freely declared,’ &c., London, 1716. 3. ‘The Life and Death of Mr. T. Rosewell’ [his father], London, 1718, 8vo. This is generally prefixed to the account of the trial of the latter [see under Rosewell, Thomas]. He contributed the commentary to St. Paul's Epistles to the Ephesians in the ‘Commentary’ of Matthew Henry [q. v.] (Prot. Diss. Mag. 1797, p. 472).

[Wilson's Hist. of Dissenting Churches, i. 76, iii. 49; Watts's Works, ed. 1812, i. 594; Protestant Dissenters' Mag. i. 177–83; Funeral Sermon by Jeremiah Smith; Life and Death of Mr. Thomas Rosewell.]

C. F. S.