Ford, Stephen (DNB00)

FORD, STEPHEN (d. 1694), nonconformist divine, is said to have been a servant to the head of a college at Oxford. He certainly studied at Oxford, though at what college does not appear. During the Commonwealth he was presented to the vicarage of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, where, after his ejectment in 1662, he still continued to preach privately as he had opportunity. But he was sadly harassed by reason of his nonconformity, and at length, on some of his enemies threatening his life, he removed to London. There he settled with a congregation in Miles Lane, Cannon Street, and continued to officiate as their pastor nearly thirty years. He often preached in the time of the plague, when other ministers had fled into the country. In May 1692 Matthew Clarke (1664–1726) [q. v.] was ordained joint-pastor with him. Ford is said to have died ‘some time in the year 1694’ (Walter Wilson}}, Dissenting Churches, i. 473). He published: 1. ‘The Evil Tongue condemned; or, the Heinousness of Defaming and Backbiting,’ 8vo, London, 1672. 2. ‘A Gospel-Church: or, God's Holy Temple opened,’ 8vo, London, 1675, and other tracts vaguely mentioned by Calamy. Ford was one of the twenty-one divines who subscribed John Faldo's ‘Quakerism No Christianity,’ 8vo, 1675.

[Calamy and Palmer's Nonconf. Memorial (1802–3), iii. 121–2; Walter Wilson's Dissenting Churches, i. 472–3, 476–7; Joseph Smith's Bibliotheca Anti-Quakeriana, p. 188.]

G. G.