Almost immediately afterwards Wells distinguished himself by organising a protest against the proposed action of parliament against the king. The address, signed by nineteen ministers of Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire, was dated 21 Jan. 1648–9, and printed in the same year (London, 4to). It was conveyed to London and presented to Fairfax by Wells and John Bayley of Fringford, Oxfordshire, on 25 Jan. While disapproving strongly of the king's action against the five members, the signatories spoke in no measured terms against the impolicy and illegality of proceeding against the king's life.
It was about this time, or soon after, that Wells was offered, says Calamy, the rich living of Brinkworth, Wiltshire. He continued, however, at Banbury, and in 1654 was appointed with John Owen (1616–1683) [q. v.], Thomas Goodwin, and others, on the commission for Oxfordshire to eject scandalous and unsuitable ministers. In September 1654 he received from parliament a yearly augmentation of 30l. to be added to his salary. The quakers, who were particularly numerous in his parish, seem to have given him some trouble about this time. He was unnecessarily severe with them, having Anne Audland, one of their most noted preachers, imprisoned for calling him ‘a false prophet.’
Wells was ejected with the two thousand on St. Bartholomew's day, 1662. His farewell sermon, ‘The Spiritual Remembrancer,’ on Acts xx. 27, was printed. He was presumably possessed of private means, since, in spite of having ten or eleven children, he remitted 100l. of the money due to him. He continued to live in Banbury and to preach until the operation of the Five-mile Act drove him in 1665 to Deddington, whence he wrote weekly letters to his former congregation in Banbury. These are said to have been printed, possibly with the sermon above mentioned. After the indulgence Wells returned to Banbury and bought a house, where he remained until his death, in June or July 1678; he was buried at Banbury on 7 July (Par. Reg. per the Rev. L. S. Arden). Wells was a powerful and attractive speaker.
By his wife, Dorothy Doyley of Wiltshire, whom he married in 1637, Wells had a numerous family.
[Beesley's Hist. of Banbury, pp. 435, 464–6; Kennett's Register, p. 896; Cal. of State Papers, Dom. 1654, p. 355; Palmer's Noncon. Memorial, iii. 120; Chalmers's Biogr. Dict.; Watt's Bibl. Brit.]
WELLS, Sir THOMAS SPENCER (1818–1897), first baronet, surgeon, eldest son of William Wells, a builder, by his wife Harriet, daughter of William Wright of Bermondsey, was born at St. Albans, Hertfordshire, on 3 Feb. 1818. He soon showed a marked interest in natural science, and was therefore sent as a pupil, without being formally apprenticed, to Michael Thomas Sadler, a general practitioner at Barnsley in Yorkshire. He afterwards lived for a year with one of the parish surgeons at Leeds, attended the lectures of Hey and Teale, and saw much practice in the Leeds infirmary. In 1836 he proceeded to Trinity College, Dublin, where his knowledge of surgery was still farther advanced by the great Irish surgeons, Whitley Stokes [see under Stokes, William], Sir Philip Crampton [q. v.], and Arthur Jacob [q. v.] In 1839 he entered as a student at St. Thomas's Hospital in London to complete his professional education under Joseph Henry Green [q. v.], Benjamin Travers [q. v.], and Frederick Tyrrell [q. v.] Here, at the end of his first session, he was awarded the prize for the most complete and detailed account of the post-mortem examinations made in the hospital during the time of his attendance.
He was admitted a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England on 26 April 1841. He then joined the navy as an assistant surgeon, and served for six years in the naval hospital at Malta. He combined a civil practice with his more purely naval duties, and acquired so good a reputation as a surgeon that he was admitted to the higher grade of fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England on 26 Aug. 1844. His term of service at Malta being completed, he left the navy in 1848. He then proceeded to Paris to study pathology under Magendie, and to see the gunshot wounds which filled the hospitals after the struggle in June 1848. He afterwards accompanied the Marquis of Northampton on a journey to Egypt, and made some valuable observations on malarial fever. Wells returned to London in 1853, where, settling in practice at 30 Brook Street, he devoted himself at first to ophthalmic surgery. In 1854 he was elected surgeon to the Samaritan Free Hospital for women and children, then occupying 27 Orchard Street, Portman Square, but now situated in the Marylebone Road. The hospital had been established for seven years, but was little more than a dispensary, as it had no accommodation for in-patients. At the same time he was editor of the ‘Medical Times and Gazette,’ and in 1857 he became lecturer