Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Loe, William
LOE, WILLIAM (d. 1645), divine, apparently a native of Kent, graduated B.A. from St. Alban Hall, Oxford, on 5 Nov. 1597, M.A. on 14 June 1600, R.D. from Merton College on 8 June 1618, and D.D. on 8 July following (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500-1714, iii. 934). In 1598 or 1600 he was presented to the vicarage of Churcham, Gloucestershire, and became master of the college school in Gloucester in 1600. He was installed prebendary of Gloucester on 30 Sept. 1602 (Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Hardy, i. 448), but he was never sub-dean as has been asserted. On 26 Nov. 1611 he was presented by the king to the rectory of Stoke Severn, Worcestershire (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1611-18, p. 94). In 1618, being then chaplain in ordinary to James I, it seems that differences with Laud, then dean of Gloucester, who was busy with his 'reformations in the cathedral,' led Loe to seek duty abroad (ib. p. 439). He accepted the pastorate of the English church at Hamburg. By 1620 he had returned to England. He subsequently officiated as curate at Putney, in 1631 was vicar of Wandsworth, and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 21 Sept. 1645. He left a son William and a daughter Hester.
It is of Loe that the story is told that, having to preach in a church near London at a morning service, where a Mr. Adam was to preach in the same church in the afternoon, he selected for his text the words, 'Adam, where art thou?' to which his colleague, or possibly candidate for the same post, responded later in the day by a discourse from the words 'Lo, here am I' (Lysons, Environs, i. 293, citing 'Perfect Passages,' a newsletter for 16 April 1645).
Loe is author of a volume of religious verses composed exclusively of monosyllables, entitled 'Songs of Sion. Set for the joy of gods deere ones, who sitt here by the brookes of this worlds Babel,' 12mo, Hamburg, 1620 (Brit. Mus. and Bodl.) Each division of the book has a prose dedication to an English merchant in Hamburg. A reprint was issued in 'Miscellanies of the Fuller Worthies' Library,' vol. i. ed. Grosart, 1871.
Loe's prose writings, which are interesting from their quaintness and vigour, include:
- 'The Joy of Jerusalem and Woe of the Worldlings, a Sermon preached at Pauls Crosse,' square 18mo, London, 1609.
- 'Come and See, The Blisse of Brightest Beautie, Shining out of Sion in Perfect Glorie. Being the sum of four Sermons preached in the Cathedral Church of Gloucester,' 4to, London, 1614.
- 'The Mysterie of Mankind made into a Manual … being the sum of seven Sermons preached at S. Michaels in Cornehill,' 12mo, London, 1619 (copies are in the Bodleian and the Hamburg Public Library).
- 'The Merchant reall, preached by William Loe,' 4to, Hamburg, 1620 (a copy in the Hamburg Public Library is the only one known).
- 'Vox Clamantis. Mark i. 3. A stil voice, to the three thricehonourable Estates of Parliament: and in them, to all the Soules of this our Nation,' 4to [London], 1621.
- 'The King's Shoe. Made and ordained to trample on, and to treade downe Edomites,' 4to, London, 1623, a sermon preached before the king.
- ' A Sermon preached … April 21, 1645, at the Funerall of … Dan. Featley … with a short Relation of his Life and Death, by WilliamLeo' (sic), 4to, London, 1645, with a curiously engraved frontispiece of Dr. Featley. Another sermon, entitled 'The Kings Sworde ordained of God and by God immediatelie given to Christian Kings for the Defence of the Faith,' &c., which he preached at Whitehall on 14 Jan. 1622-3, is preserved in manuscript in the British Museum (King's MS. 17, A. xl.); it is inscribed at great length to Prince Charles.
Loe suggested to Joshua Sylvester the idea of his poem entitled 'Tobacco Battered,' which the latter dedicated to him in a sonnet (Sylvester, Works, 1641, p. 572).
Loe's son, William Loe (fl. 1639), proceeded in 1621 from Westminster School to Trinity College, Cambridge, became D.D., and in 1639 was presented to the college living of Kirkby Masham, Yorkshire. He was a contributor to the university collections of Latin and Greek verses on the birth of the Princess Elizabeth in 1635, and on that of the Princess Anne in 1637. He also compiled from his father's papers a little volume called 'The Merchants Manuell, being a Step to Stedfastnesse, tending to settle the Soules of all sober minded Christian Catholiques,' 16mo, London, 1628.
[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 183; Grosart's Introduction to reprint of Loe's Songs of Sion referred to; Hunter's Chorus Valum (Addit. MS. 24492, f. 134); Welch's Alumni West.(1852), pp. 90, 91.]