Parkhurst, Nathaniel (DNB00)

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PARKHURST, NATHANIEL (1643–1707), divine, was born in Ipswich in 1643 of religious parents. His father was captain or master of a ship, and he himself was intended for a sea life, but, showing an aptitude for study, was sent to Queens' College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. 1660, M.A. 1664. He was instituted to the vicarage of Yoxford, Suffolk, in 1665, on the presentation of Lady Elizabeth Brooke [q. v.] of Cockfield Hall, Suffolk, to whom he acted as chaplain, and at whose funeral he preached a sermon, printed under the title of ‘The faithful and diligent Christian described and exemplified’ (London, 1684). He also wrote, dated 3 June 1673, a testimony to the extraordinary ability of William Wotton [q. v.], as a child, published by his father, Henry Wotton, minister of Wrentham, Suffolk, 1680 (reprinted 1752), as well as a ‘life’ of his near neighbour and friend William Burkitt [q. v.] of Dedham (London, 1704), and preached a funeral sermon on him at Dedham on 9 Nov. 1703, published, n.d. Parkhurst died at Yoxford on 8 Dec. 1707, and was buried in the nave of his church, where an inscription to his memory records that he had been vicar for forty-two years. His funeral sermon, dedicated to Priscilla, his widow, was published, with some remarks on his life, by S. J., London, 1708, 12mo.

Parkhurst is described as of consistent cheerfulness, opposed to gloomy religion, and of great humility, leading an essentially pastoral life. Besides the above works and some religious tracts, Parkhurst published funeral sermons on Rev. Samuel Fairclough [see under Fairclough, Samuel, 1594–1677] (London, 1692), Thomas Neale (1705), the Rev. Mr. G. Jones (1705), together with ‘Ten Select Discourses,’ London, 1706, and ‘Eleven Select Discourses,’ London, 1707. Four of the last collection were previously published ‘for Thomas Parkhurst at the Bible and Three Crowns, near Mercers Chappel in Cheapside, 1706.’

[Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Grad. Cantabr. 1659–1823, p. 356; manuscript notes in the Brit. Mus. copy of the Redeemer's Friend, the Sermon on Fairclough; Darling's Encyclopædia; Funeral Sermon by S. J. in Dr. Williams's Library; Wilford's Memorials of Eminent Persons, pp. 218–222, app. 18.]

C. F. S.