Rawlet, John (DNB00)

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RAWLET, JOHN (1642–1686), divine, baptised at Tamworth in Warwickshire on 28 March 1642, was religiously inclined from youth. He was educated at Cambridge, matriculating from Pembroke Hall on 15 Dec. 1659. He was prevented by poverty from proceeding to an ordinary degree, but obtained the degree of bachelor of divinity on 23 June 1676, in consequence of a royal mandate of Charles II (notes from J. Willis Clark, esq.; Luard, Grad. Cantabr.) After taking holy orders, and engaging in clerical work in London, he was before 1671 settled in the north (cf. Poetick Miscellanies, pp. 86, 90), acting for a short while as chaplain to the bishop of Chester. On 14 Sept. 1671 Oliver Heywood heard him preach in Bolton, Lancashire (Heywood, Diaries, i. 282). In 1679 he describes himself as minister of Kirby Stephen in Westmoreland. In the summer of the same year (25 June 1679) he succeeded the Rev. John Marsh in the lectureship of St. Nicholas Church, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and was then spoken of as ‘a very pious and charitable man’ (Ambrose Barnes, Diary, pp. 418–29, Surtees Soc.). He declined to leave Newcastle in 1682 when he was offered the vicarage of Coleshill in Warwickshire, but recommended Thomas Kettlewell [q. v.] for the vacancy. Rawlet died on 28 Sept. 1686. When dying he went through the ceremony of marriage, at the lady's request, with a daughter of Thomas Butler, merchant, of Newcastle, and sheriff there in 1652; ‘they had been some time in love together.’ By his will he left most of his property and his library to his native town of Tamworth for the benefit of the living and the school there.

Rawlet's chief works are: 1. ‘A Dialogue betwixt two Protestants (in Answer to a Popish Catechism called “A Short Catechism against all Sectaries”),’ 1685, 8vo; 1686 (‘3rd edition’), and in Gibson's ‘Preservation against Popery’ (1738, vol. iii. and ed. Cummings, 1848, vol. xvii.) 2. ‘The Christian Monitor, containing an Earnest Exhortation to a Holy Dying, with proper Directions in Order thereto, written in a very plain and easy style for all sorts of people,’ London, 1686, 16mo, a very popular work, which reached its twenty-fifth edition in 1699, and was constantly reissued during the eighteenth century. In 1789 a Welsh version bore the title ‘Y Rhybuddiwr Christnogawl.’ 3. ‘Poetick Miscellanies,’ London, 1687, 8vo, 1691, 1721 (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. iv. 583). 4. ‘A Treatise of Sacramental Covenanting with Christ,’ London, 1682, 8vo; 5th edit. 1692, 1736. An extract, edited by H. Venn, A.M., fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge, and called ‘Earnest Persuasions to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, and become Subject to Him,’ appeared in London in 1758.

There is an engraved portrait by R. White of Rawlet in ‘Poetic Miscellanies’ (p. 140). A portrait by Lely is said to have been at one time in the parsonage-house at Lancaster (Barnes, Diary, p. 429).

[An Account of the Life of the Rev. Mr. John Rawlet, Author of the Christian Monitor, with a valuable remain of his never before printed, viz. his consolatory Letter to his Mother, written on occasion of his apprehension of Dying by the Great Plague (London, 1728, 8vo), is attributed to Dr. Thomas Bray (cf. Heywood's Diaries, i. 282). See also Luard's Grad. Cant.; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. iv. 583; Diary of Ambrose Barnes (Surtees Soc.), vol. v.]

W. A. S.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.231
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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