Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Swinnock, George

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SWINNOCK, GEORGE (1627–1673), nonconformist divine, born at Maidstone in Kent in 1627, was son of George Swinnock of Maidstone, whose father was mayor of the borough. Owing to the death of his father, George Swinnock, jun., was brought up in the house of his uncle Robert, a zealous puritan. He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, whence he removed on 7 Oct. 1645 to Jesus College (Addit. MS. 5820, f. 162); he graduated B.A. in 1647–8, and then proceeded to Oxford to obtain preferment, entering as a commoner at Magdalen Hall. On 19 Jan. 1648–9 he became chaplain at New College, and on 6 Oct. following he was made a fellow of Balliol College by the parliamentary visitors. He was incorporated B.A. on 29 Nov. 1650, and graduated M.A. on the next day. In the same year he resigned his fellowship, and was appointed vicar of Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire. In 1655 he was appointed to St. Leonard's chapel at Aston-Clinton in Buckinghamshire, and on 10 Jan. 1661 was presented to the vicarage of Great Kimble in the same county by Richard Hampden, to whom he was then chaplain. In the following year he was ejected for nonconformity, both from St. Leonard's and from Great Kimble, and took up his abode with the Hampden family at Great Hampden. Upon the issue of the Declaration of Indulgence in 1672 he retired to Maidstone, where he became pastor to a large congregation. He died on 10 Nov. 1673, and was buried in the parish church.

Swinnock was the author of: 1. ‘The Door of Salvation Opened,’ London, 1660, 8vo and 4to; 3rd edit. 1671. 2. ‘The Christian Man's Calling,’ London, 1661–5, 4to. 3. ‘Heaven and Hell Epitomised,’ London, 1659, 8vo. 4. ‘The Incomparableness of God,’ London, 1672, 4to. 5. ‘The Sinner's last Sentence,’ London, 1675, 8vo. 6. ‘Life of Thomas Wilson,’ 1672, 8vo. A collective edition of Swinnock's ‘Works’ was published in 1665, London, 4to, containing Nos. 2 and 3, as well as several shorter treatises and sermons.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 1001; Lipscomb's History of Buckinghamshire, ii. 94, 348; Clutterbuck's Hertfordshire, i. 202; Calamy's Nonconformist's Memorial, ed. Palmer, i. 303; Newton's Hist. of Maidstone, 1741, p. 132; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Burrows's Reg. Oxford Visitation (Camden Soc.).]

E. I. C.