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Bampfield, Francis (DNB00)

BAMPFIELD, FRANCIS (d. 1683), divine, was the third son of John Bampfield, of Poltimore, Devon, and brother of Sir John, first baronet. He was from his birth designed for the ministry by his parents (A Name, an After One, p. 7). In 1631, at about the age of sixteen, he entered Wadham College, Oxford, where he remained seven or eight years, taking his M.A. degree in 1638. He was ordained in 1641, and preferred to a living in Dorsetshire, worth about 100l. a year. This sum he spent upon his parishioners, supplying his own wants out of a small private income. He was also collated to a prebend in Exeter Cathedral, in which he was reinstated at the Restoration. A conviction that the church stood in urgent need of reform induced him to take steps distasteful to his parishioners, and, after much solicitation, he accepted the less valuable living of Sherborne. Here he remained until, in 1662, the Act of Uniformity drove him from his preferments. In the September of that year he was arrested at home, and compelled to find sureties for his good behaviour. Soon afterwards he was again arrested, and detained for nearly nine years in Dorchester gaol. At his discharge in 1675, he travelled through several counties preaching, and finally settled in London. After ministering in private for some time, he gathered a congregation of Sabbatarian Baptists at Pinners' Hall, Broad Street. Whilst conducting service there, in February 1682–3, he was arrested and carried before the lord mayor. After several appearances at the Old Bailey sessions, Bampfield was convicted and returned to Newgate, where he died on 16 Feb. 1683–4. Large crowds of sympathisers attended his funeral at the Anabaptists' burial-ground in Aldersgate Street. His works are:

  1. 'The Judgment of Mr. Francis Bampfield for the Observation of the Jewish or Seventh-day Sabbath,' 1672.
  2. 'All in One: All Useful Sciences and Profitable Arts in the One Book of Jehovah Elohim,' 1677.
  3. 'A Name, an After One,' 1681.
  4. 'The House of Wisdom,' 1681.
  5. 'The Lord's Free Prisoner,' 1683.
  6. 'A Just Appeal from the Lower Courts on Earth to the Highest Court in Heaven,' 1683.
  7. 'A Continuation of the former Just Appeal,' 1683.
  8. 'The Holy Scripture the Scripture of Truth,' 1684.

[The Conformist's Fourth Plea for Nonconformity, 1683, p. 44; Crosby's History of the English Baptists, 1738–40, i. 363, ii. 355, iii. 7; Calamy's Nonconformists' Memorial, ed. Palmer, 1802, ii. 149; Hutchins's Hist. and Antiq. of Dorset, 1774, ii. 385; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iv. 126]

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