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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/90

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Brownrig
Brownrigg
84

house of his good friend Mr. Rich. At Sunning he had the moral courage to exercise his episcopal functions. He ordained there, among others, the famous Edward Stillingfleet. It is said that Oliver Cromwell asked his counsel about some public business, and that he bravely replied, 'My lord, the best counsel I can give you is, Render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and unto God the things that are God's,' with which reply the Protector was silenced rather than satisfied. About a year before his death Brownrig was invited by the honourable societies of both Temples to come and live among them and be their chaplain. He accepted the invitation, and 'was provided with handsome lodgings and an annual honorary recompense' (Gauden). This hardly amounted to his being appointed, as Neal says (History of the Puritans), master of the Temple. He preached in the Temple church in Easter term 1659, when there was so large a crowd that many were disappointed of hearing him. His last sermon was on 5 Nov. in the same year, and on the 7th of the following month he died. He was buried, at his own desire, in the Temple church, his funeral sermon being preached by Dr. Gauden, afterwards his successor in the see of Exeter. Dr. Gauden also published a 'Memorial of the Life and Death of Dr. Ralph Brownrig,' which is, in fact, merely an amplification of what he said in the sermon. Fuller, who was present at the funeral, says: 'I observed that the prime persons of all denominations were present, whose judgments going several ways met all in a general grief at his decease.' Echard says 'he was a great man for the anti-Arminian cause (for he was a rigid Calvinist), yet a mighty champion for the liturgy and ordination by bishops, and his death was highly lamented by all parties;' and Neal owns that 'he was an excellent man, and of a peaceable and quiet disposition' (History of the Puritans). His reputation was so great that Tillotson, when he first came to London, sought him out and made him his model, both for his preaching and for his mode of life.

Brownrig published nothing during his lifetime, but at his death he 'disposed all his senuons, notes of sermons, papers, and paperbooks,' to the Rev. W. Martyn, 'sometime preacher at the Rolls,' with liberty to print what he should think good. Mr. Martyn determined to print nothing without the sanction of Dr. Gauden, whose rather exaggerated view of Brownrig's merits he seems to have adopted, for he calls him 'one of the greatest lights the church of England ever enjoyed.' He published forty sermons of Brownrig's in 1652, which were reprinted with twenty-five others in 1665, making two volumes. They are full of matter, and, after the fashion of those times, they pick their texts to the very bone. As they are very long, full of quotations, and divided and sub-divided into innumerable heads, it is not surprising that they never reached the rank of the great classical sermons of the seventeenth century. They are not, like Bishop Andrewes's sermons (which they resemble in form), of such superlative excellence as to overcome the repugnance which set in after the Restoration against this mode of preaching.

[Bishop Gauden's Memorial of the Life and Death of Dr. Ralph Brownrig; Fuller's Worthies; Biog. Brit. (Kippis). ii. 674-6; Neal's History of the Puritans, iii. 112, iv. 242-3; Bishop Brownrig's Sermons.]

J. H. O.

BROWNRIGG, ELIZABETH (d. 1767), murderess, was the wife of James Brownrigg, a house painter, who lived at Fleur de Luce Court, Fleet Street. For some years she practised midwifery, and about 1765 was appointed by the overseers of St. Dunstan's in the West to act as midwife to the poor women of the parish workhouse. She had three apprentices, Mary Mitchell, Mary Jones, and Mary Clifford, all of whom she treated in a most inhuman manner. On 3 Aug. Clifford was found in a dying state, hidden in Brownrigg's premises, and died shortly after. James, the husband, was committed for trial. Elizabeth and her son John fled, but were apprehended on the Kith. Elizabeth was tried at the Old Bailey, before Mr. Justice Hewitt, on 12 Sept. 1767, found guilty, and received sentence. Her husband and son were acquitted. It appears that after practising all sorts of diabolical cruelties upon Clifford, the woman Brownrigg tied her up to a hook fixed in one of the beams in the kitchen, and flogged her no less than five times on 31 July. She was hanged at Tyburn on 14 Sept. 1767. Her skeleton was exposed in a niche at Surgeons' Hall in the Old Bailey, 'that the heinousness of her cruelty might make the more lasting impression on the minds of the spectators' (Gent. Mag.) A well-known reference to her crime is made in some verses in the 'Anti-Jacobin.'

[Knapp and Baldwin's New Newgate Calendar, iii. 216-23; Celebrated Trials (1826), iv. 425-31; Sessions Papers (1766-7), 257-76; The Ordinary of Newgate's Account of Elizabeth Brownrigg; Bayley's Life of Elizabeth Brownrigg; Wilson's Wonderful Characters (1822), iii. 321-30; Gent. Mag. (1767), xxxvii. 426-8, where a picture of the ill-treatment of the apprentices will be found, 476.]

G. F. R. B.