Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/108

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Manton
Manton
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tremely popular, and an acknowledged leader of the presbyterians in London.

He was one of the three scribes to the Westminster Assembly, and signed the preface to the 'Confession,' adding an 'Epistle to the Header' of his own (see ed. Edinb. 1827). On at least six occasions Manton was called to preach before the Long parliament, the first being 30 June 1647, a fast day (Commons' Journals). He strongly disapproved of the king's execution, but remained in favour with Cromwell and his parliament, and again preached before them on thanksgiving and fast days until 4 Feb. 1658. He attended Christopher Love [q. v.] on the scaffold (22 Aug. 1651), and afterwards, in spite of threats of shooting from the soldiers, preached a funeral sermon (printed 1651) in Love's church of St. Lawrence Jewry, though 'without pulpit-cloth or cushion,' Manton was incorporated B.D, on 20 April 1654 at Oxford, on the ground that 'he is a person of known worth, and a constant preacher in London,' In 1666 he was presented by William Russell, earl of Bedford, to the rectory of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, a new church built and endowed by Francis, fourth earl (Newcourt, i. 707). Although he was not legally admitted until 10 Jan. 1660 (Kennett, Register), he attracted to the church, under the Commonwealth, crowds of the nobility, both Scottish and English. Evelyn was there (Diary, i. 327) on 23 May 1658, when Manton had collections made for the sequestrated ministers. On another occasion Baxter and Br. Wilkins, afterwards bishop of Chester, assisted him in a service for the Piedmontese protestants. He was nominated by the committee of parliament, with Baxter and others, to draw up the 'Fundamentals, of Religion' (Baxter, Reliquiæ, pt. ii. p. 197). He was also appointed one of the 'triers' or inquisitors of godly ministers. "Wood derisively calls him the 'prelate of the Protectorate,' On 26 June 1657 Manton was present in Westminster Hall, and 'recommended his Highness, the Parliament, the council, the forces by land and sea, and the whole government and people of the three nations to the blessing and protection of God' (Whitelocke, p. 662)

Manton was anxious for the Restoration, and was one of the deputation to Breda, where Charles II promised to make subscription easier for the presbyterians. In June or July 1660 he was sworn one of the twelve chaplains to the king, but never preached before him, or received or expected any pay (Baxter). He sat on the commission for the revision of the liturgy, which met in the first instance at Calamy's house 2 April 1660, and diligently attended the Savoy conference (convened 25 March 1661). He accompanied Baxter, Calamy, and others to an audience of the king, who desired them 'to set down what they would yield to,' The presbyterians met at Sion College for two or three weeks, and attended at Lord-chancellor Manchester's when their declaration was read before the king (22 Oct. 1660).

On 19 Nov. 1660 Manton was created D.D. at Oxford, and was offered the deanery of Rochester, but he declined to subscribe. He continued at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, not reading the liturgy nor having it read, until a petition was presented by his congregation at the end of 1661. On 24 Aug, (St. Bartholomew's day) 1662 he left his living, but disclaims having preached any farewell sermon (Kennett, p. 779). He attended the services of his successor, Dr. Patrick, afterwards bishop of Ely, until Patrick charged him with circulating a libel about him in the church (Bodl. MSS. Cod. Tann. xxxiii. fol. 38). Manton then held frequent services in his own house in King Street, Covent Garden, until the numbers grew too large, and the meetings were moved successively to White Hart Yard, Brydges (now Catherine) Street, and to Lord Wharton's in St. Giles's. It is a sign of his popularity that the Earl of Berkshire, 'a Jansenist papist,' who lived next door, offered egress 'over a low wall' if trouble arose (Harris). Among those who regularly came were the Countesses of Bedford and Manchester, Lady Clinton, Sir William Lockier, and Lady Seymour (Hist. MSS. Comm. 2nd Rep. App. vi. p. 15). In September 1668 Manton, 'being next the court and of great name among the presbyterians,' drew up, at the suggestion of Sir John Baber [q. v.], an address to the king acknowledging the clemency of his majesty's government. Manton described his own and his companion's reception at Lord Arlington's, the secretary of state, in a letter to Baxter (Reliquiæ, iii. 37). His meetings were connived at until about 1670, when he was arrested on a Sunday afternoon just as he was finishing his sermon. He was committed to the Gatehouse, but was treated leniently, Lady Broughton being the keeper. Baxter 'judges him well at ease,' On being released, six months after, Manton began preaching in a room in White Hart Yard, and only escaped a second arrest by a timely warning, which enabled James Bedford, who had taken the Oxford oath, to occupy his place. In 1672 he was chosen one of the first six preachers for the merchants and citizens of London at the weekly lecture in Pinners' Hall, where he continued to preach 'occasionally until his death. Two years