Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Stedman, Rowland

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STEDMAN, ROWLAND (1630?–1673), nonconformist divine, son of Henry and Mary Stedman, was born about 1630 at Corfton, in the parish of Diddlebury in Shropshire (there is a gap in the registers from 1598 until 1683). He matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, as ‘plebeian,’ on 12 March 1648–9, but migrated to University College on obtaining a scholarship there in 1649. He graduated B.A. on 16 Oct. 1651, and proceeded M.A. on 22 March 1655–6.

Stedman was appointed to the rectory of Hanwell, Middlesex, in 1657, and remained there for three years. In 1660 he was made rector of Wokingham in Berkshire, and held that living until 1662, when he refused episcopal ordination and was ejected for nonconformity. After his ejection Stedman resided at Neasdon in the parish of Willesden in Middlesex, but presently became chaplain at Wooburn in Buckinghamshire to Philip, fourth lord Wharton [q. v.], who, dying on 5 Feb. 1694–5, was described on his monument in Wooburn church as opening his mansions for ‘an asylum for the suffering ministers of the word of God.’ Stedman remained at Wooburn until his death, on 14 Sept. 1673, and was buried on the 16th at Wooburn church, ‘leaving behind him the character of a zealous nonconformist’ (Wood). His will, dated 24 Oct. 1667, was proved 8 Oct. 1673 (P. C. C., 132 Pye). He married Margaret, daughter of William and Anne Jemmatt, who survived him.]

His works are:

  1. ‘The Sure Way to Salvation; or, a Treatise of the Mystical Union of Believers with Christ; wherein that great mystery and privilege of the Saints' union with the Son of God is opened in the nature, property, and necessity of it,’ 1668.
  2. ‘Sober Singularity, or an Antidote against Infection by the example of a multitude; being practical reflections on Exod. xxiii. verse 2,’ 1668.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. iii. 998; Calamy's Nonconformist's Memorial, ed. Palmer, i. 294; Burrows's Register of Visitors of the University of Oxford in 1647–8, pp. 480, 558; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; and private information.]

W. G. D. F.