Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Vincent, Thomas

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585277Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 58 — Vincent, Thomas1899Alexander Gordon

VINCENT, THOMAS (1634–1678), nonconformist divine, second son of John Vincent and elder brother of Nathaniel Vincent [q. v.], was born at Hertford in May 1634. After passing through Westminster school, and the grammar school at Felsted, Essex, he entered as a student at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1648, matriculated 27 Feb. 1650–1, and graduated B.A. 16 March 1651–2, M.A. 1 June 1654, when he was chosen catechist. Leaving the university, he became chaplain to Robert Sidney, second earl of Leicester [q. v.] In 1656 he was incorporated at Cambridge. He was soon put into the sequestered rectory of St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, London (he was probably ordained by the sixth London classis), and held it till the uniformity act (1662) ejected him. He retired to Hoxton, where he preached privately, and at the same time assisted Thomas Doolittle [q. v.] in his school at Bunhill Fields. During the plague year (1665) he preached constantly in parish churches. His account of the plague in ‘God's Terrible Voice in the City by Plague and Fire,’ 1667, 8vo, is very graphic. Subsequently he gathered a large congregation at Hoxton, apparently in a wooden meeting-house, of which for a time he was dispossessed. He did not escape imprisonment for his nonconformity. He died in his prime on 15 Oct. 1678, and was buried (27 Oct.) in Cripplegate churchyard. His funeral sermon was preached by Samuel Slater [q. v.]

Among his publications were, besides many sermons:

  1. ‘A Spiritual Antidote for a Dying Soul,’ 1665, 8vo.
  2. ‘The Foundation of God standeth Sure,’ 1668, 8vo; against William Penn [q. v.], the quaker.
  3. ‘Wells of Salvation Opened,’ 1669, 8vo.
  4. ‘Fire and Brimstone,’ 1670, 8vo.

Posthumous was

  1. . ‘Holy and Profitable Sayings,’ 1680, broadsheet.

[Funeral Sermon by Slater, 1679; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 1174; Wood's Fasti, ed. Bliss; Reliquiæ Baxterianæ, 1696, iii. 2, 19, 95; Calamy's Account, 1713, p. 32; Calamy's Continuation, 1727, i. 30 sq.; Wilson's Dissenting Churches of London, 1808, ii. 191 sq.; Neal's Hist. of the Puritans, ed. Toulmin, 1822, iv. 451, 479; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714.]

A. G.