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BYAM, HENRY, D.D. (1580–1669), royalist divine, was born 31 Aug. 1580, at Luckham, Somerset, the eldest of four sons of Lawrence Byam, presented to the rectory of Luckham 19 June 1575, and married 26 May 1578 to Anne or Agnes, daughter of Henry Ewens or Yewings of Capton in the parish of Stogumber. Henry matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, 10 June 1597, and was elected student of Christ Church 21 Dec. 1599. He graduated B.A. 30 June 1602, M.A. 9 June 1605, B.D. 9 July 1612, D.D. 31 Jan. 1643. Wood praises him as ‘one of the greatest ornaments of the university,’ and ‘the most acute and eminent preacher of his age.’ He succeeded his father (whose will was proved in the middle of July 1614) in the rectory of Luckham with Selworthy. On 17 March 1632 he was made prebendary of Exeter. His D.D. was given him by command of the king, just after he had escaped from the custody of Blake, Byam's family being the first to take up arms for the king in those parts. His living was sequestered in 1656. He accompanied Charles II to Scilly when he fled from England, and was chaplain in the isle of Jersey until the garrison surrendered. Henceforth he lived in obscurity till the restoration, when he was made prebendary of Wells, in addition to his prebend at Exeter. He died 16 June 1669 at Luckham, and was buried 29 June in the chancel of his church. Byam's wife and daughter were drowned in attempting to escape to Wales by sea during the troubles. He had five sons, four of whom were captains in the royalist army. He published: 1. ‘A Returne from Argier: a sermon preached at Minhead, 16 March 1627–8 at the readmission of a lapsed Christian to our church,’ 1628, 4to. Posthumously appeared 2. ‘XIII Sermons: most of them preached before his majesty King Charles II in his exile,’ &c., 1675, 8vo (edited, ‘with the testimony given of him at his funeral,’ by Hamnet Ward, M.D.; two of the sermons are in Latin, being a visitation sermon at Exeter, and a sermon for his B.D. degree). A bust of Byam has been placed in the Shire Hall at Taunton.

John, second son of Lawrence Byam, was born about 1583, matriculated at Exeter College 12 Oct. 1599, and graduated B.A. 30 June 1603, M.A. 25 May 1606. He married a daughter of William Mascall (d. 1609), rector of Clotworthy, Somerset, and succeeded to the rectory on Mascall's death. In May 1625 he received a dispensation to hold also the vicarage of Dulverton, Somerset. His living of Clotworthy was sequestered, and he was imprisoned at Wells for loyal correspondence. He died in 1653, and is said to have left a manuscript account of his sufferings.

Edward, third son of Lawrence Byam, was born at the end of September 1585, matriculated at Exeter College 31 Oct. 1600, chosen demy at Magdalen 1601 (till 1610), graduated B.A. 12 Dec. 1604, M.A. 13 July 1607, took priest's orders 7 April 1612, and was presented 4 Aug. 1612 to the vicarage of Dulverton, Somerset, which he resigned, May 1625 to his brother John. On 30 April 1627 he was collated to the precentorship of Cloyne, and he afterwards became vicar of Castle Lyons. On 17 April 1639 he received the prebend of Clashmore in the diocese of Lismore. He died at Kilwillin 6 June 1639, and was buried at Castle Lyons. He married 22 July 1613, at Walton, Elizabeth, daughter of Anthony Eaglesfield, formerly fellow of Queen's, then vicar of Chewton Mendip, rector of Walton-cum-Street, and prebendary of Wells. His widow, Elizabeth Byam, was among the despoiled and impoverished protestants of 1642. His son William was lieutenant-general, and governor of Guiana and Surinam. Edward Byam wrote ‘Lines on the death of Q. Elizabeth’ in ‘Acad. Ox. Funebre Officium in mem. Eliz. Reginæ,’ Oxford, 1603.

[Chronological Memoir of the three clerical brothers, &c. Byam, by Edward S. Byam, Ryde, n. d. (dedication 5 Aug. 1854), 2nd ed. Tenby, 1862; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, ii. 29, 207; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 836; Fasti, i. 296, &c.; Bloxam's Register of Magdalen College, the Demies, vol. ii. 1876, p. 1.]

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