Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sampson, Henry (1629?-1700)

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SAMPSON, HENRY (1629?–1700), nonconformist minister and doctor of medicine, eldest son of William Sampson (1590?–1636?) [q. v.], was born at South Leverton, Nottinghamshire, about 1629. His mother, Helen, daughter of Gregory Vicars, married, in 1637, as her second husband, Obadiah Grew [q. v.] Sampson was educated at Atherstone grammar school, under his stepfather, and at King Henry VIII's school, Coventry, under Phinehas White. In 1646 he entered at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, his tutor being William Moses [q. v.] He graduated B.A. in 1650, was elected fellow in the same year, and proceeded M.A. in 1653. He paid special attention to the study of Hebrew and New Testament Greek, and collected a library rich in critical editions of the scriptures. In 1650 he was presented by his college to the rich rectory of Framlingham, Suffolk, vacated by the sequestration of Richard Goultie for refusing the ‘engagement.’ He was never ordained, but acquired considerable repute as a preacher, both at Framlingham and Coventry. At Framlingham, where he had no literary neighbours, he added antiquarian to his theological interests. At the Restoration Goultie was replaced in the rectory, but Sampson continued for some time to preach privately at Framlingham, and founded an independent congregation, which still exists (now unitarian).

Turning to medicine, he studied at Padua and at Leyden, where he graduated M.D. on 12 July 1668. He practised in London, and was admitted an honorary fellow of the College of Physicians on 30 Sept. 1680. He retained his nonconformity, attending the ministry of Lazarus Seaman [q. v.], and later of John Howe. He died on 23 July 1700, and was buried in August at Clayworth, Nottinghamshire, of which parish his brother, William Sampson, was rector. He was twice married, but had no issue. His first wife, Elinor, died on 24 Nov. 1689. His second wife, Anna, survived him.

He published ‘Disputatio … de celebri indicationum fundamento, Contraria contrariis curari,’ &c., Leyden, 1668, 8vo, and contributed papers on morbid anatomy to the ‘Philosophical Transactions,’ 1674, 1678, 1681, 1695. His account (1663) of Framlingham Castle is printed in Hearne's editions of Leland's ‘Collectanea.’ He edited ‘Methodus Divinæ Gratiæ,’ &c., 1657, 12mo, by Thomas Parker (1595–1677) [q. v.] Sampson's papers, including ‘a particular list of the ejected in each county,’ gave ‘considerable help’ to Calamy in the preparation of his ‘Account’ (1713) of the silenced ministers of 1662. None of his manuscripts are now known to exist, but the British Museum has a volume (Addit. MS. 4460) of Thoresby's transcripts from Sampson's ‘Day-books.’ Some extracts are printed in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ 1851, and in the ‘Christian Reformer,’ 1862, pp. 235 sq.

[Funeral Sermon, 1700, by Howe, with account of Sampson by his half-brother, Nehemiah Grew; Calamy's Account, 1713, pp. xxiii, 83 sq.; Calamy's Continuation, 1727, i. 118; memoir in Gent. Mag. 1851, i. 381 sq.; Munk's Coll. of Phys. 1861, i. 384; Some Account, by Robert Brook Aspland in Christian Reformer, March 1862, pp. 154 seq.; Browne's Hist. Congr. Norfolk and Suffolk, 1877, p. 537; Heywood's Register (Turner), 1881, p. 102.]

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