Marsden, John Buxton (DNB00)

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MARSDEN, JOHN BUXTON (1803–1870), historical writer, born at Liverpool in 1803, was admitted sizar of St. Jonn's College, Cambridge, on 10 April 1823 (College Admission Register), and graduated B.A. in 1827, M.A. in 1830. He was ordained in 1827 to the curacy of Burslem, Staffordshire, whence he removed to that of Harrow, Middlesex. From 1833 to 1844 he held the rectory of Lower Tooting, Surrey, during the minority of his successor, R. W. Greaves, and from 1844 to 1851 he was vicar of Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. In 1851 he became perpetual curate of St. Peter, Dale End, Birmingham. Marsden was a sensible, liberal-minded clergyman. At a meeting of the clergy at Aylesbury on 7 Dec. 1847 to protest against the appointment of Renn Dickson Hampden [q. v.] to the see of Hereford, he moved an amendment, and in a vigorous speech (printed in 1848) denounced the unfair treatment of Dr. Hampden. For five years before his death ill-health incapacitated him from engaging in active duty of any kind. He died on 16 June 1870 at 37 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham (Guardian, 22 June 1870, p. 724).

Marsden was author of three very meritorious works, entitled:

  1. 'The History of the Early Puritans, from the Reformation to the Opening of the Civil War in 1642,' 8vo, London, 1850.
  2. 'The History of the Later Puritans, from the Opening of the Civil War to 1662,' 8vo, London, 1852 (cf. Gardiner and Mulling er, Introd. to English Hist. pp.. 326, 368).
  3. 'History of Christian Churches and Sects from the earliest ages of Christianity,' 2 vols. 8vo, London, 1856; new edit. 1858.

Marsden's other writings include:

  1. 'The Churchmanship of the New Testament: an Inquiry … into the Origin and Progress of certain Opinions which now agitate the Church of Christ,' 12mo, London, 1846.
  2. 'Memoirs of the Rev. Samuel Marsden of Paramatta,' 12mo, London (1858); he was not related to Samuel Marsden [q. v.]
  3. 'Memoirs of the Rev. Hugh Stowell of Manchester,' 8vo, London, 1868.

He likewise published various volumes of sermons and lectures, contributed a 'biographical preface' to a posthumous work of the Rev. Edward Dewdney called 'A Treatise on the special Providence of God,' 16mo, 1848, and edited, with preface and notes, J. F. Simon's 'Natural Religion,' 8vo, 1857. From 1859 to 1869 Marsden was editor of the 'Christian Observer.'

[Information from R. F.Scott, esq.; Birmingham Daily Gazette, 17 June 1870; Christian Observer, August 1870, pp. 633-4; Crockford's Clerical Directory.]

G. G.