Open main menu

Hill, Thomas (1628?-1677?) (DNB00)


HILL, THOMAS (1628?–1677?), nonconformist minister, was born at Derby. From the grammar school of Repton, Derbyshire, he entered the service of the first Earl of Chesterfield, but was admitted at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, on 10 Sept. 1645. He graduated B.A., and left the university in 1649, rather than take the ‘engagement’ of loyalty to the Commonwealth; some years later he refused to preach before Cromwell. He became chaplain to the Countess of Chesterfield at Tamworth Castle, Warwickshire, and afterwards preacher at Elvaston, Derbyshire. On 16 Nov. 1652, having received a call from the parishioners of Orton-on-the-Hill with Twycross, Leicestershire, he was ordained at Ashbourne by the presbyterian classis of Wirksworth, Derbyshire, on 15 March 1653. Orton was a sequestrated vicarage; Hill duly paid the fifths to Roger Porter, his predecessor. In 1657 Hill declined an offer of the living of Tamworth. At the Restoration Porter was replaced at Orton by order of the House of Lords, and Hill was presented by the second Earl of Chesterfield to the perpetual curacy of Shuttington, Warwickshire. He did not conform in 1662, but does not appear to have been immediately ejected. His patron, who was the impropriator, gave him the tithe. The Five Mile Act (1665) ‘rendered him incapable of supplying the place himself.’ He removed to Lea Grange, near Orton, where he had a house of his own, and supplied Shuttington by help of ‘a worthy Worcestershire minister.’ He was a man of great learning and judgment, and a good preacher, with a fine voice. He died ‘about the fiftieth year of his age,’ having taken cold after preaching. The dates of his birth and death are conjectural; Samuel Shaw, born in 1635, was his schoolfellow at Repton, ‘tho' considerably junior.’ His widow was living in 1727. He seems to have published nothing. His son, Thomas Hill, M.A. (d. 1720), was a nonconformist tutor of some celebrity, who conducted an academy for training ministers at Derby (before 1714), at Hartshorn, and at Findern, Derbyshire, and died on 2 March 1720. He published, for the use of his pupils (who were to sing them) a selection of psalms in Latin and Greek verse, with title ‘Celleberrimi viri G. Buchanani Paraphrasis Poetica in Psalmos,’ &c., 1715, 12mo; the British Museum copy belonged to his most famous pupil, John Taylor, D.D., the hebraist.

[Calamy's Account, 1713, pp. 855 sq.; Calamy's Continuation, 1727, ii. 745 sq.; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, 1714, ii. 331; Christian Moderator, 1826, p. 241; Minutes of Wirksworth Classis, in Journal of Derbyshire Archæolog. and Nat. Hist. Soc., January 1880, pp. 164 sq.; extract from Register of Corp. Chr. Coll. Cambr. per the master.]

A. G.