Hollingworth, Richard (DNB00)
HOLLINGWORTH, RICHARD (1639?–1701), controversialist, was born in Lincolnshire, of presbyterian parentage, about 1639. On 5 Feb. 1654–5 he entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, as a sizar, and proceeded M.A. in 1662 and D.D. in 1684 (College Register). In 1662, to cite his own narrative in his ‘Second Defence’ (p. 51), he was ordained by Sanderson, bishop of Lincoln. In 1663 he was licensed by Sheldon, bishop of London, to a lectureship in London upon the personal recommendation of Dolben, archbishop of York, and acted in that capacity until 18 April 1672, when he became vicar of West Ham, Essex (Newcourt, Repertorium, ii. 205). At West Ham he wrote four tracts in defence of the church, of which one is entitled ‘A Modest Plea for the Church of England,’ 8vo, London, 1676, together with ‘A full and true Account of the Penitence of John Marketman during his imprisonment in Chelmsford Gaol for murthering his wife … to which is prefixed a Sermon preached before him … immediately before his execution,’ 4to, London, 1680. Hollingworth resigned West Ham in 1682 to become curate to James Adern, incumbent of St. Botolph, Aldgate, and, on the latter's ‘private resignation,’ obtained the great seal for the incumbency and enjoyed it several years until ejected (after January 1693) by course of law at the suit of Samuel Brewster, the impropriator (ib. i. 917). On 22 Jan. 1690 he was admitted to the vicarage of Chigwell, Essex (ib. ii. 143).
When the controversy upon the authorship of the ‘Εἰκὼν Βασιλική,’ occasioned by Anthony Walker's assertion that the book was not written by Charles I but by John Gauden [q. v.], broke out in 1691, Hollingworth loudly proclaimed his intention of defending the king's claim and character with his last breath. Accordingly he made a savage attack upon Walker in ‘A Defence of King Charles I …’ 4to, London, 1692, of which two other editions, with slightly different title-pages, appeared during the same year. Walker, who was dying, answered Hollingworth in ‘A True Account of the Author of a Book entituled Εἰκὼν Βασιλική,’ but by May 1692 the latter was ready with another attack called ‘Dr. Hollingworth's Defence of King Charles the First's Holy and Divine Book …’ 4to, London, 1692. In his first pamphlet he took also to task a republican pamphleteer who, under the name of General Ludlow, had compared the tyranny of Charles I with that of James II in ‘A Letter … to Sir E[dward] S[eymour] …’ 4to, Amsterdam, 1691. ‘Ludlow,’ however, proved more than a match for Hollingworth in the quantity and quality of his abuse. In his ‘Letter to Dr. Hollingworth defending his former Letter to Sir E. S.,’ 4to, Amsterdam, 1692, he taunted Hollingworth with being ‘an hungry Levite,’ who, in the hope of being rewarded with high preferment, was defending a cause which he had formerly reviled. Hollingworth, greatly exasperated, replied in ‘A Second Defence of King Charles I,’ 4to, London, 1692. This called forth another rejoinder from ‘Ludlow,’ entitled ‘Ludlow no Lyar, or a Detection of Dr. Hollingworth's Disingenuity in his Second Defence,’ &c., 4to, Amsterdam, 1692, to which is prefixed a letter purporting to be written by one Joseph Wilson of Great Yarmouth to the notorious Luke Milbourne, who is roundly charged with acting as ‘assistant to Dr. Hollingworth in his mighty undertakings.’ Hollingworth retorted in ‘The Character of King Charles I, from the Declaration of Mr. A. Henderson … upon his Death-bed; with a further Defence of the King's Holy Book … with a Defence of the King from the Irish Rebellion,’ 4to, London, 1692. On the anniversary of Charles I's execution in the following year he preached a violent sermon at St. Botolph, published as ‘The Death of King Charles I proved a down-right Murder, with the aggravations of it. … To which are added some just Reflections upon some late Papers concerning that King's Book,’ 4to, London, 1693, and, in dedicating it to his parishioners, again assails ‘Ludlow.’ His antagonist replied for the last time in ‘Truth brought to Light; or the Gross Forgeries of Dr. Hollingworth … detected,’ 4to, Amsterdam, 1693. In fulfilment of a promise made in the postscript to his ‘Second Defence,’ Hollingworth shortly afterwards ‘republished for the publick good’ Edward Symmons's ‘Vindication of King Charles I,’ 8vo, London, 1693. Thus ended a not unprofitable controversy, as much fresh and curious evidence had been produced on both sides.
Another anonymous writer replied to Hollingworth in ‘The Plain Dealer. An Essay,’ &c., 4to, London, 1692, and as late as 1723 Benjamin Bennet [q. v.] revived the controversy by his ‘Defence of the Memorial of the Reformation … and a Detection of the Forgeries publish'd by Dr. Hollingworth concerning Mr. Henderson's Recantation,’ &c., 8vo, London.
Hollingworth died at Chigwell in the autumn of 1701, his estate being administered to on 28 Oct. of that year by his widow Margaret (Administration Act Book, P. C. C. 1701, f. 177 b). From an anecdote related in ‘Reliquiæ Baxterianæ’ (1696), pt. iii. p. 180, it would seem that his character was far from estimable.
[Cole's Athenæ Cantabr. (Addit. MS. 5871, f. 78); see art. Gauden, John.]