Robothom, John (DNB00)

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ROBOTHOM, JOHN (fl. 1654), divine, possibly descended from the Robothoms of St. Albans, Hertfordshire (see Urwick, Nonconf. in Hertfordshire, pp. 149, 180; Harl. Soc. xvii. 208, xxii. 87), may have been of Trinity College, Oxford. In 1647 he applied for ordination to the ministers of the fourth presbyterian classis in London. There were several exceptions against him, and the ministers, not having leisure to examine them, turned him over to the next classis meeting for ordination. He must almost immediately have proceeded to Sussex in some ministerial capacity (see dedication to No. 2, infra). In 1648 he was minister of Rumbold's Wyke, Sussex, and received an order from the committee for compounding for 20l. a year out of the composition of John Ashburnham of Ashburnham (Calendar of the Committee for Compounding, p. 1863, 29 May 1648). He continued in Sussex till 1651. In 1654 he was preacher of the gospel in Dover. He subsequently became minister of Upminster in Essex, but was dispossessed in 1660 (David, Nonconformity in Essex, p. 502; Calamy, Account, p. 313, and Continuation, p. 490).

He published: 1. ‘The Preciousnesse of Christ unto Believers,’ London, 1647 (7 Sept.) and 1669; the first edition is dedicated to Colonel Stapely and William Cawley, deputy-lieutenant of Sussex, ‘benefactores mei.’ 2. ‘Little Benjamin, or Truth discovering Error: being a Clear and Full Answer unto the Letter subscribed by forty-seven Ministers of the Province of London, and presented to his Excellency, Jan. 18, 1648,’ London, 1648, 4to. 3. ‘An Exposition on the whole Book of Solomon's Song, commonly called the Canticles,’ London, 18 Aug. 1651; dedicated to Colonel Downes, M.P., deputy-lieutenant of Sussex. 4. ‘The Mystery of the Two Witnesses unvailed … together with the Seaventh Trumpet and the Kingdom of Christ explained,’ London, 3 May 1654; dedicated to Cromwell.

Robothom saw through the press Walter Cradock's ‘Gospel Holinesse,’ London, 1651; and he is doubtfully credited with ‘Janua linguarum reserata sive omnium scientiarum et linguarum seminarium. The Gate of Languages unlocked … formerly translated by Tho. Horn, and afterwards much corrected and amended by John Robotham, now carefully reviewed,’ &c., 6th ed. 1643 (see Wood, Athenæ Oxon. iii. 366), and ‘Disquisitio in Hypothesim Baxterianam de Fœdera Gratiæ ab initio et deinceps semper et ubique omnibus induto,’ London, 1694, 1689 (Watt).

[Authorities in text; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; MS. minutes of Fourth London Classis, in writer's possession; Notes and Queries, 8th ser. xii. 42; private information.]

W. A. S.