Hurst, Henry (DNB00)

HURST, HENRY (1629–1690), nonconformist divine, born at Mickleton, Gloucestershire, 31 March 1629, was son of Henry Hurst, vicar of Mickleton. He entered Merchant Taylors' School in October 1644, and proceeded to Oxford as a batler of Magdalen Hall about 1645. He submitted to the parliamentary visitors in 1648, and was made by them probationary fellow of Merton College in 1649. He graduated B.A. in 1649 and M.A. in 1652. Soon after the latter date he commenced to preach, and became known as a sharp disputant in the presbyterian interest, his ministry being exercised in London, Kent, and Gloucester. About 1660 he was elected by the parishioners of St. Matthew's, Friday Street, London, to the rectory of that parish, from which, in 1662, he was ejected, subsequently preached in conventicles, and was consequently more than once in trouble. He is stated to have anticipated restoration to his living as well as to a lectureship he had held at Highgate. After the indulgence of 1671 he preached openly in London and other places, and in 1675 he was made chaplain to the Earl of Anglesea. In 1678 he was, according to Wood, 'very active in aggravating the concerns' of 'the Popish plot,' and in 1683 is believed to have been implicated in the Rye House plot. After James II's indulgence he preached in the neighbourhood of Covent Garden. He died of apoplexy on 14 April 1690, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Paul, Covent Garden. His funeral sermon was preached by Richard Adams, M.A. His works show him to have been an earnest, clever, and pious man. The chief are:

  1. 'Three Sermons on Rom. vii. 7,' Oxford, 1659, 8vo.
  2. 'Three Sermons on the Inability of the highest, improved natural Man to attain a sufficient Knowledge of Indwelling Sin, 1660, 12mo.
  3. 'The Revival of Grace,' &c., London, 1678, 8vo (dedicated to his patron, Arthur, earl of Anglesea).
  4. 'Annotations upon Ezekielandthe Twelve Lesser Prophets' (in continuation of Matthew Poole's 'Annotations on the Holy Bible'), 1688.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 120, 171; Brodrick's Memorials of Merton Coll. (Oxf. Hist. Soc.),pp. 291, 361; Palmer's Nonconformist's Memorial, i. 163-4; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Robinson's Reg. Merchant Taylors' School, i. 164.]

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