Howell, Francis (DNB00)

HOWELL, FRANCIS (1625–1679), puritan divine, son of Thomas Howell of Gwinear, Cornwall, matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, on 14 or 24 July 1642, at the age of seventeen. In 1648 he graduated M.A., and was elected fellow of his college and Greek reader on 10 Aug. in that year. About 1650 he was one of the independent ministers appointed to preach at St. Mary's, Oxford. On 28 April 1652 he became the senior proctor, and in the following June was among those who petitioned parliament for a new visitation of the university. Howell was nominated one of the visitors, and in 1654, under a fresh ordinance, was again placed on the list. In the same year (25 March 1654) the professorship of moral philosophy was bestowed upon him. Under a promise of Cromwell, and to the detriment of John Howe, he was created principal of Jesus College, Oxford, on 24 Oct. 1657, and consequently vacated in 1658 his fellowship at his old college. At the Restoration Howell was ejected from this preferment, and retired to London, where he preached 'with great acceptance' as assistant to the Rev. John Collins [q. v.] at Lime Street Chapel, Paved Alley. He died at Bethnal Green on 10 March 1679, and was buried at Bunhill Fields.

[Wood's Univ. of Oxford (Gutch), vol. ii. pt. ii. pp. 644, 651-2, 662, 874; Wood's Colleges (Gutch), p. 578, App. p. 138; Boase's Reg. of Exeter College, pp. 69-70; Neal's Puritans, 1822 ed. iv. 111; Calamy's Nonconf. Mem. 1802 ed. i. 234; Calamy's Howe, 1724, p. 19; Wilson's Dissenting Churches, i. 229, iii. 23; Burrows's Visit. of Oxford Univ. (Camden Soc.), pp. 500, 504.]

W. P. C.