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Milbourne, Luke (1622-1668) (DNB00)


MILBOURNE, LUKE (1622–1668), ejected nonconformist divine, was born at Loughborough, Leicestershire, and baptised on St. Luke's day, 18 Oct. 1622. He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and graduated M.A. in 1646. He was ordained by Matthew Wren, bishop of Ely, and first settled at King's Lynn, either as curate or schoolmaster. Thence he removed to the perpetual curacy of Honiley, Warwickshire. Being a royalist, he was exposed to much molestation from Cromwell's troops, but found a retreat at Kenilworth Castle, held (1645–60) by Cromwell's officers. His plain speaking on the subject of the execution of Charles I nearly cost him imprisonment. He kept, for the rest of his life, an annual fast on 30 Jan. On the resignation of Ephraim Hewet, or Huit, who went to America, he succeeded him, apparently in 1650, in the donative of Wroxhall (then a hamlet in the parish of Honiley). It was in the gift of the Burgoyne family and worth 6l. 13s. 4d. per annum, but made up to 40l. As he could not subscribe the engagement recognising a non-monarchical government (to be taken by 23 March 1650), he expected to have to leave his place, but ‘was overlooked.’ He had taken the covenant, and his name occurs as Myllbourne in a list of members of the Kenilworth presbyterian classis in 1658. On the passing of the Uniformity Act (1662), he was ejected for nonconformity. He retired to Coventry, and tried to support himself by a school, and by taking boarders for the grammar school, but the authorities interfered with him. He was compelled to leave Coventry, being a corporate town, by the operation of the Five Miles Act, which came into force on 25 March 1666. He removed to Newington Green, where his wife kept a school. He died in 1668, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Michael's, Coventry; the vicar, Samuel Feake, offering interment in the chancel. He had twenty children, of whom four, including Luke Milbourne [q. v.], survived him.

[Thomas Hall's Apologia, 1658; Calamy's Account, 1713, pp. 746 sq.; Calamy's Continuation, 1727, ii. 860 sq.; Brook's Lives of the Puritans, 1813, iii. 527; Sharp's County of Warwick, 1835, p. 88; Oakley's Kenilworth Castle, 1893.]

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