ship, and retained until 1667 the presidency, with his archdeaconry and prebend. In 1664–5 he was vice-chancellor of the university. He gave 100l. ‘for wainscoting and adorning the combination-room’ at the college, and contributed 400l. for the rebuilding of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Sparrow was consecrated bishop of Exeter on 3 Nov. 1667, and from 1668 to 1676 held, with the see, the archdeaconry of Exeter and the sinecure deanery of St. Buryan. In 1676 he was translated to the more valuable see of Norwich. He died at the episcopal palace, Norwich, on 19 May 1685, and was buried in the chapel near the palace, which had been erected by Bishop Reynolds. An illustration of the monument and a copy of the inscription on it are in Sir Thomas Browne's ‘Antiquities of Norwich’ (Posthumous Works, 1712, pp. 74–5). His widow was alive in 1693. He had a large family. Three of his daughters married dignitaries of Exeter Cathedral (Ballard MSS. Bodleian Library, (98); Kettlewell, Life and Times, 1895, p. 182).
A portrait of Sparrow in the bishop's palace at Exeter represents him in episcopal robes and flat cap, with ‘his own wavy dark hair and very slight moustache’ (Trans. Devon Assoc. xvi. 131). An engraving of it was published by William Richardson of York House, Strand, London, on 1 March 1798.
Sparrow published ‘A Rationale upon the Book of Common Prayer,’ which is said by Watt in his ‘Bibliotheca’ to have appeared in 1655, and earlier editions are elsewhere mentioned (cf. Lowndes, Bibl. Man. ed. Bohn). But no extant edition is dated before 1657. Copies of the edition of that date are in the Bodleian and at Queens' College, Cambridge. An edition of 1661 is in the British Museum (Horne, Catalogue of the Library of Queens' College, i. 108; Catalogue of Bodleian Library). It was often reprinted, together with the ‘Caution to his Diocese against False Doctrines’ which Sparrow preached in 1669. The best editions are the sixth and the seventh, which were edited by the Rev. Samuel Downes in 1721 and 1722. A new issue, reprinted from that of 1684, was edited by John Henry Newman in 1839, and was republished in 1843 and 1852. The ‘Rationale’ is still of value. A companion volume by Sparrow, ‘A Collection of Articles, Injunctions, Canons of the Church of England,’ came out in 1661, and was reproduced in 1671, 1675, and 1684. There was published in 1842 ‘The Office for the Visitation of the Sick, with Notes from Bishop Sparrow.’
[Travels of Cosmo III of Tuscany in 1669, pp. 130–6; Le Neve's Fasti, i. 356, 381, 396, ii. 472, 493, iii. 607, 685; Oliver's Bishops of Exeter, pp. 154–5, 273–87; Searle's Queens' College (Cambr. Antiq. Soc.). xiii. 529–30; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. v. 477; Blomefield's Norfolk, iii. 586–8; Willis and Clark's Cambridge, ii. 49, iii. 37–8; Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, iii. 288, 377, 496–9; Bishop Patrick's Autobiogr. pp. 41–51; information from Professor Ryle, president of Queens' College, and from Rev. O. B. Packard, rector of Depden.]
SPARROW, JOHN (1615–1665?), mystic, was born on 12 May 1615, probably at Stambourne, Essex. In 1633 he was admitted of the Inner Temple, being then of Stambourne, and was subsequently called to the bar. He co-operated with his kinsman, John Ellistone, of Overhall, Gestingthorpe, Essex, in bringing out an English version of the works of Jacob Boehme. The first of these by Sparrow appears to be ‘XL Questions concerning the Soule’ (1647, 4to; 1648, 4to; 1665, 8vo); the last is ‘The Remainder of Books,’ 1662, 4to. Between these are six quarto volumes of translations by Sparrow alone, and nearly half the translation of ‘Mysterium Magnum’ (a commentary on Genesis), finished by Sparrow after Ellistone's death (22 Aug. 1652), and published 1654, fol., with a life of Boehme by Durand Hotham [q. v.] and a translation of Boehme's ‘Four Tables’ by Henry Blunden. Sparrow is probably the author of ‘Mercurius Teutonicus,’ 1649, 4to, a volume of ‘propheticall passages’ from Boehme. His prefaces show that he resorted to mysticism as a refuge from sectarian religion. In attempting to render Boehme's obscurities, both translators introduce a jargon of their own. Most of their work was reissued, without acknowledgment and with slight modifications (not improvements), by George Ward and Thomas Langcake (anonymously) in 1763–81, large 4to, with illustrations by Andrew Dionysius Freher; a misleading title-page has caused this edition to be regarded as the work of William Law [q. v.] Sparrow was living on 18 Dec. 1664; he probably died soon after. His portrait was drawn and engraved in 1659 by D. Loggan; the print gives the date of his birth.
[Sparrow's prefaces; Granger's Biographical Hist. of Engl. 1779, iii. 108; Walton's Memorial of William Law, 1854, pp. 45, 141, 686; information from J. E. L. Pickering, esq. librarian, Inner Temple.]
SPEARMAN, ROBERT (1703–1761), eccentric theologian, born in 1703, eldest son of Robert Spearman, attorney, of the city of Durham, by his wife Hannah, only daughter