Hall, Edmund (DNB00)

HALL, EDMUND (1620?–1687), puritan divine, born at Worcester about 1620, was younger son of Richard Hall, clothier, of Worcester, by his wife, Elizabeth (Bonner), and was apparently educated at the King's School, Worcester. Thomas Hall (1610-1665) [q. v.] was his eldest brother. In 1636 he entered Pembroke College, Oxford, but left the university without a degree to take up arms for the parliament against Charles I. He took 'the covenant, and at length became a captain' in the parliamentary army. About 1647 he returned to Oxford, and was made a fellow of Pembroke College, and proceeded M.A. on 11 March 1649-50. He was strongly in favour of monarchy, and wrote against Cromwell's pretensions with great bitterness. About 1651 he was committed to prison by the council of state, and remained there for twelve months, still attacking the government in published pamphlets. Subsequently he preached in Oxford and the neighbourhood, and about 1657 became chaplain to Sir Edmund Bray, of Great Risington, Gloucestershire. Bray was a royalist, and his endeavours to present Hall to the rectory of Great Risington, of which he was patron, proved of no avail. Hall's sermons, according to Wood, 'had in them many odd, light, and whimsical passages, altogether unbecoming the gravity of the pulpit, and his gestures, being very antic and mimical, did usually excite somewhat of laughter in the more youthful part of the auditory.' His views, although Calvinistic, grew into something like conformity with the church of England. At the Restoration he made professions of loyalty. In May 1661 he petitioned the government to remove Lewis Atterbury from the rectory of Great Risington, to which Bray had presented the petitioner, but his petition does not appear to have been granted. He secured, however, preferment at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, where he was generally popular. He there 'obtained the character from some of a fantastical, and from others of an edifying preacher.' In 1680 he at length became rector of Great Risington on the presentation of Bray. He died in August 1687, and was buried (5 Aug.) in the chancel of his church. On removing to Great Risington, he 'took to him in his elderly years a fair and comely wife.'

Hall was author of 'Ἡ ὰποστασία ό ὰντίχριστος, . . . A scriptural Discourse of the Apostacy and the Antichrist, by E. H.,' London, 1653, 4to, dedicated to 'the Right Reverend and Profound Prophetick Textmen of England,' by 'An obedient Son and Servant of the Church and State of England,' and of 'A Funeral Sermon on Lady Anne Harcourt,' Oxford, 1664, 8vo. According to Wood, he was the anonymous author of 'Lazarus's Sores lick'd' (London, 1650, 4to), an attack on Lazarus Seaman, who had recommended submission to Cromwell and the army. Two anonymous pamphlets, entitled respectively 'Lingua Testium, wherein Monarchy is proved to be Jure Divino,' &c. (Lond. July 1651, 4to), and 'Manus Testium Movens, or a presbyteriall glosse upon . . . prophetick Texts . . . which point at the great day of the Witnesses rising,' &c. (London, July 1651, 4to), are also attributed to Hall by Wood. Both are severe on the 'present usurpers in England,' who are denounced as 'anti-Christian.' The author disguises himself on either title-page as 'Testis-Mundus Catholicus Scotanglo-Britanicus.'

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iv. 212–14; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1660–1, p. 600; Brit. Mus. Cat. sub. 'E. H.,' 'Lazarus,' and 'Catholicus.']

S. L. L.