Smith, John (1563-1616) (DNB00)

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SMITH, JOHN (1563–1616), divine, born at or near Coventry, Warwickshire, in 1563, was educated at the Coventry grammar school recently founded by John Hales, and elected at the age of fourteen to a Coventry scholarship at St. John's College, Oxford. He proceeded M.A. in 1585, and B.D. in 1591. He was made a fellow of his college, and highly valued in the university ‘for his piety and parts.’ He was chosen lecturer at St. Paul's Cathedral, in the place of Lancelot Andrewes [q. v.], and became minister of Clavering, Essex, in 1592. He died in November 1616, leaving benefactions to St. John's College, to Clavering parish, and to ten faithful and good ministers who had been deprived on the question of ceremonies. He obtained a license to marry Frances, daughter of William Babbington of Chorley, Cheshire, on 21 Oct. 1594 (Foster, London Marriage Licenses, p. 1244).

He was author of:

  1. ‘Aπολωγία τῆς Ἄγγλων Ἐκκλσίας … Apologia Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ Græce versa interprete J. S.,’ Oxford, 1614, 12mo; this was a Greek version of Bishop Jewel's ‘Apology,’ and was published again with the Latin in 1639, 8vo (cf. Madan, Early Oxford Press, pp. 97, 214).
  2. ‘Essex Dove, presenting the world with a few of her olive branches; or, a taste of the works of that Reverend, Faithfull, Judicious, Learned, and holy Minister of the Word, Mr. John Smith … delivered in three severall Treatises, viz. (1) His Grounds of Religion; (2) An Exposition on the Lord's Prayer; (3) A Treatise of Repentance,’ 3 parts, London, 1629, 4to, 2nd edit. enlarged, London, 1633, 8vo, 3rd edit., corrected and amended, London, 1637, 8vo.
  3. ‘An Exposition of the Creed, delivered in many afternoone Sermons, and now published by Anthony Palmer,’ London, 1632, fol.

Palmer married Smith's widow. The seventy-three sermons in this volume include the ‘Explanation of the Articles of our Christian Faith’ mentioned by Wood as a separate book.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Clark and Boase's Register of University of Oxford, i. 93, ii. 78, iii. 98; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 188, Fasti, i. 217; Morant's Essex, ii. 614; Colvile's Warwickshire Worthies, p. 698; Brit. Museum Library Cat.; Bodleian Library Cat.]

R. B.