Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Savage, Henry

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SAVAGE, HENRY, D.D. (1604?–1672), master of Balliol College, Oxford, was the son of Francis Savage of Dobs Hill in the parish of Eldersfield or Eldsfield, Worcestershire. He was entered as a commoner of Balliol in 1621 at the age of seventeen (Wood), but was not matriculated till 11 March 1624-5. He graduated B. A. 24 Nov. 1625, M.A. 4 Feb. 1630, and B.D. 8 Nov. 1637. He was elected fellow of his college in 1628. About 1640 he travelled in France with William, sixth baron Sandys of The Vyrie, and shook off his academic 'morosity and rusticity.' He submitted to the parliamentary visitors of the university (Burrows, p. 479); and was presented to the rectory and vicarage of Sherborne St. John, Hampshire, in 1648.

Savage was recalled to Oxford by his election, on 20 Feb. 1650-1, to succeed Dr. George Bradshaw as master of Balliol, and proceeded to the degree of D.D. on 16 Oct. following; his dissertations on 'Infant Baptism' were published in 1653, and provoked an answer from John Tombes [q. v.] of Magdalen Hall, to which Savage replied in 1655. His opinions on this and other theological subjects were sufficiently orthodox not only to save him from molestation at the Restoration, but to secure him the post of chaplain-in-ordinary to Charles II, the rectory of Bladon, near Woodstock, in 1661, in addition to the rectory of Fillingham, Lincolnshire, which he held as master (dispensation in Cal. State Papers, 17 Feb. 1662), a canonry at Gloucester in 1665, and the rectory of Crowmarsh, Oxfordshire, in 1670 (ib. 16 Oct. 1669, and 1 June 1670). During his tenure of the mastership of Balliol it was one of the poorest and smallest colleges. He died on 2 June 1672, and was buried 'below the altar steps' in the college chapel.

Savage married, about 1655, Mary, daughter of Colonel Henry Sandys (d. 1644) and sister of his friend William, sixth lord Sandys, and of Henry and Edwin, seventh and eighth barons. He had seven children. Savage's widow died, 15 May 1683, in an obscure house in St. Ebbe's at Oxford (Wood, Life, ed. Clark, ii. 246).

Savage published: 1. 'Tres Quaestiones Theologicae in Comitiorum Vesperiis Oxon. discussae an. 1652, viz., An Psedobaptismus sit licitus,' Oxford, 1653. 2. 'Thesis doctoris Savage, nempe Paedobaptismum esse licitum, Confirmatio, contra Refutationem Mri. Tombes nuper editam,' concluding with a 'Vindicatio eius a Calumniis Mri. Tombes,' Oxford, 1655. 3. 'Reasons showing that there is no need of such Reformation of the public Doctrine, Worship, Rites and Ceremonies, Church Government, and Discipline as is pretended,' London, 1660; this is an answer to a pamphlet of 'Reasons showing that there is need,' &c., attributed to Dr. Cornelius Burges [q. v.] 4. 'The Dew of Hermon which fell upon the Hill of Sion, or an Answer to a Book entitl'd "Sion's Groans,"' London, 1663; some copies are called 'Toleration, with its Principal Objections fully Confuted, or an Answer.' 5. 'Balliofergus, or a Commentary upon the Foundation, Founders, and Affairs of Balliol College, Oxford,' 1668, a small quarto of 130 pages, including 'Natalitia Collegii Pembrochiani Oxonii 1624;' the manuscript, a parchment volume dated 1661, is in Balliol College Library (MS. cclv). This work is stigmatised by Wood, who rendered the author some assistance, as 'containing many foul errors/ and by Mr. H. T. Riley (Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. p. 444) as 'a vapid and superficial production,' but it is of considerable value, in spite of its inaccuracies, as the first attempt to construct the history of an Oxford college on the basis of authentic registers and deeds (cf. Wood, Athenae Oxon.. iii. 957; and Life, ed. Clark, i. 315, ii. 46, 136; Clark, Colleges of Oxford, p. 49; Rashdall, Mediaeval Universities, ii. 472).

[Wood's Athenae Oxon. iii. 957, and Life, ed. Clark; Watt's Bibl. Brit.ii. 834; Nash's Worcestershire; Chambers's Worcestershire Worthies, p. 140; Chalmers's Biogr. Dict, and Univ. of Oxford, i. 52; G. F. A[rmstrong]'s Savages of the Ards contains no original account of the Eldersfield branch.]

H. E. D. B.