Higford, William (DNB00)

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HIGFORD, WILLIAM (1581?–1657), puritan, was born of a good family in the neighbourhood of Alderton in Gloucestershire about 1581. On 14 Jan. 1596–7 he matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford (Reg. Univ. Oxf. ii. ii. 218, Oxf. Hist. Soc.) Wood says that he entered in 1595 as a fellow-commoner. He subsequently migrated to Corpus Christi College, where he says he had for his tutor Sebastian Benefield [q. v.] He graduated B.A. 16 Feb. 1598–9 (ib. ii. iii. 215, where he is called Hichford). Wood states that ‘by the benefit of good discipline and natural parts he became a well qualified gentleman,’ and that after taking his degree in arts he retired to his father's seat at Dixton, near Alderton, was appointed a justice of the peace, and was highly respected by the neighbouring nobility and gentry, particularly Grey Brydges, lord Chandos [q. v.]

He married Mary, daughter of John Meulx of the Isle of Wight, by whom he had a son John, born in 1607. Higford, who is stated to have been ‘a zealous puritan,’ died at his residence at Dixton on 6 April 1657, in the seventy-seventh year of his age, leaving behind him, ‘beside other matter fit for the press,’ a large manuscript, entitled ‘Institutions, or Advice to his Grandson, in three Parts,’ which was revised by Clement Barksdale [q. v.], and published in London in 1658, 16mo. A second edition appeared in 1660, 8vo, under the title of ‘The Institution of a Gentleman, in Three Parts,’ dedicated to Lord Scudamore, and containing ‘An Address to the Generous Reader’ by Barksdale, together with an ‘Epitaphium Gulielmi Higford,’ and his praise in English verse, headed ‘Fama loquitur.’ It was also printed in the ‘Harleian Miscellany,’ vol. ix.

[Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), iii. 429; Rudder's Hist. of Gloucestershire, p. 220.]

W. C. S.