Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Whitlock, John

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947882Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 61 — Whitlock, John1900Bertha Porter

WHITLOCK, JOHN (1625–1709), ejected divine, born in 1625, was the son of Richard Whitlock, merchant, of London. His mother (born in 1596) died at Leighton on 2 April 1649, and was buried there. A small brass to her memory is in the church. On 23 June 1642 Whitlock was admitted a pensioner of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1645 and M.A. in 1649. In 1643 he made the acquaintance of William Reynolds [q. v.], which quickly ripened into a close friendship, only broken after nearly fifty-five years' standing by the death of Reynolds in 1698. In the summer of 1645 Whitlock was invited to preach at Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. He settled there in November, and in the following month was joined by Reynolds, the two living under the same roof, studying in the same room, and writing at the same table. In the spring of 1648 Reynolds was invited to Aylesbury, and agreed to share the two places (Aylesbury and Leighton) with his friend. Refusing the ‘Engagement’ in 1649, they were deprived of their maintenance in both their places of ministry, and ceased to preach at Aylesbury in March 1650, and at Leighton in March 1651. Later in 1651 Whitlock was presented to the vicarage of St. Mary's, Nottingham, his friend Reynolds being joined with him as lecturer. In October 1651 they were both ordained at St. Andrews Undershaft in London, and established their church after the presbyterian form on their return to Nottingham. In July 1662 Whitlock was indicted at the sessions at Nottingham for not reading the common prayer, and, although the Act of Uniformity was not yet in force, he was suspended and his church sequestered. The two friends then sought refuge out of the town, and shared all disturbances and imprisonments [see Reynolds, William] till the ‘Indulgence’ of October 1687 enabled them to return to Nottingham. Rooms at Bridlesmith Gate were certified in July 1689 for the joint use of the presbyterians Whitlock, Reynolds, and John Barret (1631–1713) [q. v.], and the independent John Ryther (d. 1704) [see under Ryther, John, 1634?–1681]. A little later the two sects had separate houses, but even after the building of the presbyterian chapel on the High Pavement about 1690, they joined with each other in religious services.

Whitlock continued to preach in the High Pavement Chapel until within two years of his death. He died on 4 Dec. 1709, and was buried in St. Mary's Church on 13 Jan. following. He married, on 25 March 1652, a daughter of Anthony Tuckney [q. v.], successively master of Emmanuel and St. John's Colleges, Cambridge. Possessed of a fair property, he was liberal in the use of it. He was succeeded in the ministry by his son John, who died on 16 March 1723, aged 62, and was buried in St. Mary's on 20 March. A joint tablet to father and son is in the church.

Besides single sermons, Whitlock published: 1. ‘A Short Account of the Life of the Rev. W. Reynolds,’ London, 1698; Nottingham, 1807. 2. ‘The Great Duty and Comfortable Evidence,’ London, 1698.

[Palmer's Nonconformist's Memorial, iii. 100–103; Carpenter's Presbyterianism in Nottingham, passim; The Conformist's Fourth Plea for the Nonconformists, pp. 36, 43–4; Whitlock's Life of the Rev. William Reynolds, passim; Heywood and Dickinson's Nonconformist Register, p. 287; Creswell's Collections towards a History of Printing in Nottinghamshire; Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), iii. 985; Blaydes's Genealogia Bedfordiensis, p. 387; Cat. of Dr. Williams's Library; admission registers of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, per the master; university registers, per the registrary.]

B. P.