Swadlin, Thomas (DNB00)

SWADLIN, THOMAS, D.D. (1600–1670), royalist divine, born in Worcestershire in 1600, was matriculated at Oxford, as a member of St. John's College, on 15 Nov. 1616, and graduated B.A. on 4 Feb. 1618–1619. In 1635 he was appointed curate of St. Botolph, Aldgate, London, where he obtained celebrity as a preacher, and ‘was much frequented by the orthodox party’ (Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 916). In the beginning of the great rebellion, being regarded as one of ‘Laud's creatures’ and a malignant, he was imprisoned in Crosby House from 29 Oct. to 26 Dec. 1642, and afterwards in Gresham College and in Newgate. His living was sequestered, and his wife and children were turned out of doors. On gaining his liberty he retired to Oxford, where he was created D.D. on 17 June 1646 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714, p. 1445). About this time, according to Wood, ‘he taught school in several places, meerly to gain bread and drink, as in London, and afterwards at Paddington.’ At the Restoration he was reinstated in the church of St. Botolph, Aldgate, but, being wearied out by the contentiousness of the parishioners, he resigned the benefice. At one period he was curate of Marylebone. In 1662 he was collated by Archbishop Juxon to the vicarage of St. James, Dover, and to the neighbouring rectory of Hougham; but the yearly valuation of both livings did not exceed 80l. a year, and he grew ‘crazy and infirm.’ In 1664, by the favour of Lord-chancellor Clarendon, he became rector of St. Peter and vicar of All Saints, Stamford, where he remained till his death on 9 Feb. 1669–70.

He obtained a license on 21 April 1662, being then a widower, to marry Hester Harper, widow, of St. Margaret's, Westminster.

Swadlin's works are:

  1. ‘Sermons, Meditations, and Prayers upon the Plague,’ London, 1636–7, 8vo.
  2. ‘The Soveraigne's Desire, Peace: the Subject's Duty, Obedience’ [in three sermons], London, 1643, 4to; some passages in these sermons were the cause of his imprisonment as a malignant.
  3. ‘The Scriptures vindicated from the unsound Conclusions of Cardinal Bellarmine, and the controverted Points between the Church of Rome and the Reformed Church stated according to the Opinion of both Sides,’ London, 1643, 4to.
  4. ‘A Manuall of Devotions suiting each Day; with Prayers and Meditations answerable to the Work of the Day,’ London, 1643, 12mo.
  5. ‘Mercurius Academicus,’ a news-sheet written for the king and his party, December 1645; the eighth weekly part appeared on 2 Feb. 1645–6; the publication was renewed in 1648.
  6. ‘The Soldiers Catechisme, composed for the King's Armie. … Written for the incouragement and direction of all that have taken up Armes in the Cause of God, His Church, and His Anointed; especially the Common Soldiers. By T. S.,’ Oxford, [9 July] 1645. This is by way of answer to ‘The Soldiers Catechisme, composed for the Parliaments Army,’ 1644, by Robert Ram [see under Ram, Thomas].
  7. ‘A Letter of an Independent to M. John Glynne, Recorder of London’ (anon.), 1645.
  8. ‘The Jesuite the chiefe, if not the onely State-Heretique in the World; or the Venetian Quarrell digested into a Dialogue,’ 2 parts, London, 1647, 4to.
  9. ‘Two Letters: the One to a subtile Papist; the other to a zealous Presbyterian,’ London, 1653, 4to.
  10. ‘Divinity no Enemy to Astrology,’ London, 1653, 4to.
  11. ‘To all, Paupertatis ergò ne peream Fame. To some, Gratitudinis ergò ne peream Infamiâ. Whether it be better to turn Presbyterian, Romane, or to continue what I am, Catholique in matter of Religion,’ London [20 Feb. 1657–8], 4to.
  12. ‘Six and thirty Questions propounded for Resolution of unlearned Protestants,’ 1659, 4to.
  13. ‘King Charles his Funeral. Who was beheaded … Jan. 30, 1648. With his anniversaries continued untill 1659,’ London, 1661, 4to.

[Chambers's Worcestershire Biogr. p. 129; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 887; Newcourt's Repertorium, i. 695.]

T. C.