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Ainsworth
Ainsworth
191

Medicine, Arts, and Agriculture,’ by Whitelaw Ainslie, M.D., M.R.A.S., London, 1826, 2 vols. 8vo. (This is an amended edition of the foregoing.)
  1. ‘Clemenza, or the Tuscan Orphan; a tragic drama in five acts, Bath, 1822, 8vo; 2nd edition, 1823.
  2. ‘Observations on the Cholera Morbus of India.’ London, 1825, 8vo. (A rejoinder to this tract was published by James Morison, the hygeist, in the same year.)
  3. ‘Medical Observations,’ forming pp. 353–367 of vol. iii. of Murray's ‘Historical and Descriptive Account of British India,’ 1832, 8vo (vols. vi.–viii. Edinburgh Cabinet Library); new edition in 1844.
  4. ‘An Historical Sketch of the Introduction of Christianity into India,’ Edinburgh, 1835, 8vo.
  5. (In conjunction with A. Smith and M. Christy) ‘Report on the Causes of the Epidemical Fever which prevailed in the Provinces of Coimbatore, Madeira, Dinigal, and Tinivelly, in 1809–10–11,’ London, 1816, 8vo.

[MS. Records, India Office.]

B. D. J.

AINSWORTH, HENRY (1571–1622 or 1623), leader of the separatist congregation at Amsterdam, and controversialist, was, according to the Lancashire historians, one of an old family in that county, and is usually stated to have been born at Pleasington about 1560. The real date of his birth is 1571, and nothing very certain is known as to his birthplace and parentage. According to Baines and Abram, his father, Lawrence Ainsworth, who married Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Grimshaw, of Clayton, was one of the original governors of Blackburn grammar school, which was founded in 1567. Here, it is conjectured, Henry received the earlier part of his education. He was left an orphan at the age of thirteen. He is said to have proceeded to the university of Cambridge; but his name is not to be found in the ‘Athenæ Cantabrigienses.’ Dexter has pointed out a passage in Roger Williams which militates against the supposition that he was a graduate: ‘That most despised (while living) and now much honoured Mr. Ainsworth had scarce his peere amongst a thousand academicians, and yet he scarce set foot within a colledge walls.’

Ainsworth was a fine type of the Elizabethan puritan—learned, sincere, earnest, and uncompromising. He attached himself to those who were styled ‘Brownists,’ who, under the name of ‘Independents,’ afterwards played so important a part in English history, and who were the ancestors of the ‘Congregationalists’ and other free churches of the present time. Their essential distinction was the claim that each church or congregation should be a religious republic, regulating its own affairs in entire independence of state control, whether episcopal or presbyterian. A vigorous persecution was directed against these sectaries, and their founder is said eventually to have reverted to the church of England; but some of his followers went into exile rather than recognise the right of the secular power to dictate in such a matter. Ainsworth, about 1593, entered into the service of a bookseller at Amsterdam as a porter. Of this period it is said by Roger Williams that ‘he lived upon ninepence a week and some boiled roots.’ In 1596 he became ‘teacher’ of the church of which Francis Johnson was minister. According to one account Ainsworth came from Ireland to the Netherlands (Dexter, p. 269). Here his powers as a Hebraist were discovered and brought into play. There were other exiles in the city, and Ainsworth, together with Francis Johnson, founded an independent church, and in 1596 was the author, wholly or in part, of the ‘Confession of Faith of the People called Brownists.’ The task of organising the new church was not an easy one. Amsterdam was a city of refuge for the persecuted and the destitute, and the three hundred members of the church included some who did not reflect much credit upon it. They were not regarded with favour either by the divines or magistrates of the Netherlands, and even their application to Francis Junius, then professor of divinity at Leyden, had but a lukewarm answer. Objects of persecution at home and of suspicion in exile, they added to the difficulties of the situation by internal dissension. Johnson had married a rich widow, whose fashionable attire gave offence to some of the congregation, and amongst others to the pastor's father and brother. Dexter has given a full account of this odd controversy, in which Ainsworth appears to have acted in a very conciliatory spirit. One of the objections to the lady was that in her dress she had ‘bodies tied to the petticote with points as men do their doublets and their hose, contrary to 1 Thess. v. 22, conferred with Deut. xxii. 5 and 1 John ii. 16’! John Robinson, the pastor of the American pilgrim fathers, retired to Leyden to escape from the contentions of the faithful in Amsterdam, where a further secession was headed by John Smyth, a former minister of a separatist church in Lincolnshire, whose Arminian views led to an animated controversy. The third separation in the Amsterdam society was the result of a controversy between Johnson the pastor and Ainsworth the teacher of the church. The chief point in dispute was as to the exercise of the power of the