Moxon, George (DNB00)

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MOXON, GEORGE (1603?–1687), congregational divine, born near Wakefield, Yorkshire, about 1603, was educated at Wakefield grammar school, and at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he was reputed an excellent writer of Latin lyrics. Having been chaplain to Sir William Brereton (1604-1661) [q. v.], he obtained the perpetual curacy of St. Helen's, Lancashire, where he disused the ceremonies and got into trouble with his bishop, John Bridgeman [q. v.] Being cited for nonconformity in 1637, he left St. Helen's in disguise for Bristol, and thence sailed for New England, where he was pastor of the congregational church at Springfield, Massachusetts. He returned to England in 1653, and became colleague with John Machin (1624-1664) [q. v.] at Astbury, Cheshire, a sequestered living. Machin was a presbyterian; Moxon gathered a congregational church at Astbury, and supplied every other Sunday the perpetual curacy of Rushton-Spencer, Staffordshire. He was an assistant commissioner to the 'triers' for Cheshire. After the Restoration the rector, Thomas Hutchinson (d. 15 Dec. 1675), was reinstated, 21 Feb. 1661. Moxon retained his charge at Rushton till his ejection by the Uniformity Act of 1662. He seems to have preached for a time at a farmhouse near Rushton Chapel, where is still an ancient burial-ground.

In 1667 he removed to Congleton, in the parish of Astbury, and preached in his own house near Dane Bridge, which was licensed (30 April), under the indulgence of 1672, for a teacher of the congregational persuasion. Under James's declaration for liberty of conscience, a meeting-house wasbuilt for Moxon's congregation at Congleton, but he did not live to occupy it. He had been disabled by paralytic strokes and was assisted in his ministry from 1678 by Eliezer Birch (d. 12 May 1717). He died at Congleton on 15 Sept. 1687, 'ætat. 85.' He married a daughter of Isaac Ambrose [q. v.] The meetinghouse was first used on occasion of his fune- ral sermon by Birch; it was destroyed by a Jacobite mob in 1712, but rebuilt. The congregation is now Unitarian.

George Moxon the younger, son of the above, held after 1650 the sequestered rectory of Radwinter, Essex. At the Restoration the rector, Richard Drake, was reininstated, and Moxon became chaplain to Samuel Shute, sheriff of London (1681), who was his brother-in-law. He died at Shute's residence, Eaton Constantine, Shropshire.

[Calamy's Account, 1713, pp. 128 sq., 313; Newcome's Autobiography (Chetham Soc.), 1852, ii. 182; Urwick's Nonconformity in Cheshire, 1864, pp. 155 sq.; Pickford's Hist, of Congleton Unitarian Chapel, 1883; Head's Congleton, 1887, pp. 251 sq.; Davids's Evang. Nonconf. in Essex, 1863, pp. 445 sq.]

A. G.