Heywood, Nathaniel (DNB00)

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HEYWOOD, NATHANIEL (1633–1677), ejected minister, fourth son of Richard Heywood of Little Lever, near Bolton, Lancashire, by his first wife, Alice Critchlaw, was born on 16 Sept. 1633 at Little Lever. From a school at Horwich he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, entering on 4 May 1648. His religious impressions while at the university he ascribed to the preaching of Samuel Hammond [q. v.] In 1650 he left Cambridge, after graduating B.A., and went to study for two years under Edward Gee (1613–1660) [q. v.], then rector of Eccleston. His first settlement was at Illingworth Chapel in the parish of Halifax, Yorkshire, where he was not popular, having (as he said) ‘not sought the peace of the place, but the good of it.’ On 7 Aug. 1656 he was presented by Charlotte, countess of Derby, to the small vicarage of Ormskirk, Lancashire; having the unanimous call of the parishioners, he was duly installed by the fifth presbyterian classis of Lancashire, and approved by the parliamentary commissioners. His ministry was active and successful. A royalist in politics, he welcomed the Restoration with a sermon on thanksgiving day (10 May 1660), taking an odd text (2 Sam. xix. 30). In 1662 he was ejected by the Uniformity Act. Ashworth, his successor, being non-resident, Heywood continued his pastoral work, and preached in private houses without interference. On the indulgence of 1672 he obtained licenses for Bickerstaffe and Scarisbrick, where was a private chapel belonging to Lady Stanley. To protect him on the annulling of the indulgence (1673) Lady Stanley had the service of common prayer read before his sermon. On 20 Dec. 1674 officers came to apprehend him while he was in the pulpit. Lady Stanley hastened from her gallery to interpose, stood beside him before the magistrates at Wigan, and secured him from penalty. But his preaching was stopped. Fruitless attempts were made to prosecute him under the Five Mile Act. He died at Ormskirk on 16 Dec. 1677, and was buried on 19 Dec. in the vault of the Stanleys of Bickerstaffe in the chancel of Ormskirk Church. His funeral sermon was preached in the church by John Starkey, an ejected nonconformist. Oliver Heywood [q. v.], his elder brother, calls him ‘the flower of our family for learning, parts, piety.’ He married Elizabeth Parr (d. 1677), a relative of Richard Parr, bishop of Sodor and Man, and Gee's predecessor at Eccleston, and left two sons and several daughters. Heywood published nothing, but after his death two of his sermons were printed with the title ‘Christ Displayed,’ &c., 1679, 8vo.

Nathaniel Heywood the younger (1659–1704), his eldest son, born 6 June 1659, entered the academy of Richard Frankland [q. v.] on 25 April 1677, was ordained 1 June 1687, and died nonconformist minister at Ormskirk on 26 Oct. 1704; he was the ancestor of the Heywoods of Liverpool.

[Ashurst's Life of N. Heywood, 1695; Calamy's Account, 1713, p. 304; Calamy's Continuation, 1727, i. 560; Palmer's Nonconf. Memorial, 1802, ii. 371; Hunter's Life of O. Heywood, 1842, pp. 40 sq.; Halley's Lancashire, 1869, ii. 126 sq., 187 sq., 248; Turner's Diaries of O. Heywood, 1881 ii. 48, 1882 i. 9, 38, 108; Turner's Nonconf. Register (Heywood's and Dickenson's), 1881, p. 235; Walter Wilson's manuscripts in Dr. Williams's Library.]

A. G.