Troughton, John (DNB00)

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TROUGHTON, JOHN (1637?–1681), nonconformist divine, son of Nathaniel Troughton, clothier, was born at Coventry about 1637. At four years old he became permanently blind from the effect of small-pox. He was educated at King Henry VIII's grammar school, Coventry, under Samuel Frankland (1618?–1691), and not, as Foster says, at Merchant Taylors' school. He entered as a scholar at St. John's College, Oxford, in 1655 (matriculated 28 March), graduated B.A. on 12 Feb. 1658–9, and was elected to a fellowship, but did not long hold it, his predecessor, displaced in 1648, being restored in 1660. Retiring to Bicester, Oxfordshire, he took pupils, and engaged in conventicle preaching. Under the indulgence of 1672 he joined Henry Langley [q. v.], Thomas Gilbert (1613–1694) [q. v.], and Henry Cornish in ministering to a nonconformist congregation which met in Thame Street, Oxford. Troughton was reckoned the best preacher of the four in spite of his blindness. Wood describes him as ‘learned and religious;’ his moderation kept him on good terms with clergy of the established church. He died in All Saints' parish, Oxford, on 20 Aug. 1681, aged 44, and was buried on 22 Aug. in Bicester church. His funeral sermon was preached by Abraham James, the blind headmaster of Woodstock grammar school, and contained reflections on constituted authorities which James retracted to avoid expulsion from his mastership.

Troughton published: 1. ‘The Covenant Interest … of … Infants,’ 1675, 8vo. 2. ‘Lutherus Redivivus,’ 1677, 8vo; 2nd part, 1678, 8vo (on justification by faith; answered by Thomas Hotchkis). 3. ‘A Letter … touching God's Providence about Sinful Actions,’ 1678, 8vo. 4. ‘Popery, the Grand Apostasie,’ 1680, 8vo. 5. ‘An Apologie for the Nonconformists,’ 1681, 4to (included is ‘An Answer’ to Stillingfleet). His son, John Troughton (1666–1739), was dissenting minister at Bicester from 1698, and published several sermons (1703–25). He died on 3 Dec. 1739, aged 73.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), vol. i. p. xcii; iv. 9, 407; Calamy's Account, 1713, p. 68; Calamy's Continuation, 1727, i. 101; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1892, iv. 1513; Oxford Free Church Magazine, October 1897, p. 68.]

A. G.