Ranew, Nathanael (DNB00)


RANEW, NATHANAEL (1602?–1678), ejected minister, was admitted sizar at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, on 10 June 1617, and graduated B.A. 1621, M.A. 1624. He was incorporated at Oxford on 10 July 1627. Upon leaving the university he became minister of St. Andrew Hubbard, Little Eastcheap, London, a rectory which had been sequestrated from Richard Chambers. There Ranew remained (cf. Calamy, Continuation, i. 37) until 29 Feb. 1647, when he was instituted under a parliamentary order to the vicarage of Felsted, Essex. One of the patrons, Robert, second earl of Warwick, and his wife, who lived at Leighs Priory, within two miles of Felsted, bestowed 20l. a year on Ranew during his lifetime.

Ranew soon took a prominent place among Essex nonconformists. On the division of the county into classes by the committee of the lords and commons and the standing committee of the county in 1648, he was placed in the eleventh, or East Hinckford classis. He subscribed the ‘Testimony of Essex Ministers in the Province of Essex,’ &c., issued in the same year, and the ‘Essex Watchmen's Watchword,’ London, 1649, the reply of the Essex ministers to the ‘agreement’ presented by the army to parliament. Ranew was reported to the triers or commissioners in 1650 as an able, godly minister. Newcourt (Repert. Eccles. ii. 160) says, improbably, that he was appointed by Charles, earl of Warwick, to Coggeshall, Essex, on 1 March 1660.

He was ejected from Felsted upon the passing of the Act of Conformity, and settled in Billericay, where he was buried on 17 March 1678. Calamy calls him ‘a judicious divine, generally esteemed and valued.’

Ranew was author of ‘Solitude improved by Divine Meditation; or, a Treatise proving the Duty, and demonstrating the Necessity, Excellency, Usefulness, Natures, Kinds, and Requisites of Divine Meditation. First intended for a person of honour, and now published for General Use,’ London, 1670. This was written for, and dedicated to, Mary, countess of Warwick, daughter of the first Earl of Cork, who lived in pious seclusion at Leighs Priory. The book attained a high reputation, and was reprinted by the Religious Tract Society, London, 1839.

Nathanael Ranew, bookseller and stationer, of the King's Arms, St. Paul's Churchyard, who published Ranew's book, was apparently son of the divine. Richard Ranew, who graduated M.A. from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1660, was possibly another son.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Graduati Cantabr. p. 388; Calamy and Palmer's Memorial, ii. 199; Calamy's Abridgment of Baxter's Life and Times, ii. 300; Davids's Annals of Evangel. Nonconform. Essex, p. 389; Dale's Annals of Coggeshall, p. 176; Essex Watchmen's Watchword, p. 13; Kennett's Register, pp. 789, 890; Test. of Essex Ministers, p. 5; Division of the County into Classes, p. 16; Harl. Soc. publications, xxx. 215; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. i. 311; information from the master of Emmanuel College, and the burial register of Billericay with Great Burstead, per the Rev. E. G. Darby.]

C. F. S.