Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rothwell, Edward

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ROTHWELL, EDWARD (d. 1731), dissenting minister, was born in the parish of Bury, Lancashire. On 30 Aug. 1689 he entered the academy of Richard Frankland [q. v.] at Rathmell, Yorkshire. Here he was ordained on 7 June 1693 as minister for Poulton-in-the-Fylde, Lancashire, by Frankland, Oliver Heywood [q. v.], and others. From Poulton he removed to Tunley, near Wigan. He lived at Wrightington, near Wigan, and had divinity students as his pupils. From 1711, still retaining the charge of Tunley (where he was living in 1713), he ministered also in Bass House, Walmersley, near Bury, Lancashire, to a congregation originally gathered by Henry Pendlebury [q. v.] Rothwell, who had property in the district, gave land at Holcombe for a nonconformist chapel; this, since known as Dundee Chapel, was opened on 5 Aug. 1712, though not conveyed to trustees till 1722. Here in 1717 Rothwell had five hundred and seventy hearers, including twenty-three county voters. Many of his congregation lived in Bury, and for their accommodation a chapel was built (1719) in Silver Street, Bury, Rothwell, assisted by Thomas Braddock (1695–1770), who had been his pupil, served both chapels. He still continued to take pupils in philosophy and theology. He died on 8 Feb. 1731, and was buried on 10 Feb. in his chapel at Holcombe.

He published: 1. ‘Pædobaptismus Vindicatus,’ 1693, 4to; answered by Benjamin Keach [q. v.] 2. ‘A Vindication of Presbyterian Ordination and Baptism,’ 1721, 8vo: a curious treatise, occasioned by the recent rebaptising of dissenters at Bury parish church and elsewhere; Rothwell argues (p. 58) that ‘either presbyterian baptisms are good or King Charles was no Christian.’

[Hunter's Oliver Heywood, 1842, p. 379; Dickenson's Register (Turner), 1881, p. 308; Turner's Oliver Heywood's Diaries, 1885, iv. 315; Nightingale's Lancashire Nonconformity [1892], iii. 158 sq., iv. 26 sq.; Elliott's Country and Church of the Cheeryble Brothers, 1893, pp. 196 sq.]

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