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LOTHROPP, LATHROP, or LOTHROP, JOHN (d. 1653), independent divine, first appears as perpetual curate of Egerton, Kent. He resigned his cure, renounced his orders, and in 1622 or 1624 succeeded Henry Jacob [q. v.] as pastor of the independent church formed in 1616 in Southwark, London. On 29 April 1632 Tomlinson, the pursuivant of Laud, bishop of London, made a raid on the congregation, then assembled in the house of Humphrey Barnet, a brewer's clerk, in Blackfriars. Lothropp and forty-one members of his flock were seized, and imprisoned in the Clink and other gaols for two years, when all except Lothropp were released on bail. During his incarceration a split took place (1633) in his church; those who definitely denied the establishment to be a true church, and rejected infant baptism, went off under the leadership of John Spilsbury. Lothropp petitioned in 1634 for liberty to go into foreign exile; this was granted on 24 April to ‘John Lathropp’ on his giving a bond. He seems, however, to have delayed his departure, and to have reorganised the meetings of his church, which was joined at this crisis by William Kiffin [q. v.]. On 12 June 1634 order was given by the high commission court that ‘John Lothrop, of Lambeth Marsh’ (so read by Waddington, but in the Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, it is read ‘Lathrop’), be attached ‘if he appear not on the next court day.’ As he did not appear, order was given on 19 June for his attachment. This was repeated on 9 Oct., when the name of Samuel Eaton [q. v.] was included in the order, and on 19 Feb. 1635 Lothropp and Eaton were ordered to be committed for contempt. Lothropp, however, was by this time in New England; he had sailed in the Griffin, and reached Boston on 18 Sept. 1634, accompanied by thirty-two members of his church and many others. He was succeeded at Southwark by Henry Jessey [q. v.] in 1637; till then it is probable that Eaton ministered to the flock. Neal, who makes John Canne [q. v.] the immediate successor of Lothropp, has introduced confusion into the whole narrative by mistaking Lothropp's church for another, which met in Deadman's Place, Southwark.

Having strict notions of church fellowship, Lothropp did not seek to communicate with the Boston puritans, with whom he was not in membership, though he applied for permission to be present at the ordinance. His first settlement was at Scituate, Massachusetts, where he ministered for about five years. He removed (11 Oct. 1639) with part of his church to Barnstaple, Massachusetts, and ministered there till his death. He died on 8 Nov. 1653. He was twice married. By his first wife, who died during his imprisonment (1632–4) in the Clink, he had a numerous family; he brought with him from England four sons, Thomas (captain of militia, killed in battle with Indians near Deerfield, Mass., 29 Sept. 1675), Samuel, Joseph, and Benjamin. All founded families in New England. Two daughters, Jane and Barbarah, were married at the time of his death. By his second wife, who survived him, he had two sons, Barnabas and John, who also founded families. His will left real property in Barnstaple, and personalty valued at 72l. 16s. 5d. He had a reputation for learning, and is described as ‘studious of peace, a lively preacher.’

He published nothing; but his manuscript, ‘An Original Register,’ giving an account of his work at Scituate and Barnstaple, was employed by Thomas Prince in ‘A Chronological History of New England,’ Boston, 1736, 12mo, vol. i. Two of Lothropp's letters, dated Scituate, 18 Feb. and 28 Sept. 1638, are printed in the ‘Biographical Memoir.’ Lothropp spelled his name thus. ‘Lathrop’ (found in Wood) was adopted by the descendants of his son Samuel until the present century; they (or some of them) now write ‘Lothrop,’ a form used by his eldest son and other descendants, and found in Cotton Mather. Morton has ‘Laythrop,’ which represents the New England pronunciation of ‘Lathrop.’ Neal, Crosby, Wilson, and Brook erroneously adopt ‘Lathorp’ from Calamy.

[Biographical Memoir of the Rev. John Lothropp, by his great-grandson, John Lathrop, D.D., in collections of Mass. Hist. Soc. 1814, 2nd ser. i. 163 sq.; Cal. of State Papers, Dom. 1634; Morton's New-Englands Memoriall, 1669 (see also notes in Boston reprint, 1855); Wood's Fasti (Bliss), i. 435; Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana, 1702, iii. 3; Calamy's Continuation, 1727, i. 46; Crosby's Hist. of Engl. Baptists, 1738, i. 148; Wilson's Dissenting Churches of London, 1808, i. 40 sq.; Brook's Lives of the Puritans, 1813, iii. 163 sq.; Neal's Hist. of the Puritans (Toulmin), 1822, ii. 340 sq.; Waddington's Surrey Congregational Hist. 1866, pp. 18 sq.; Dexter's Congregationalism [1880], p. 419.]

A. G.