Thomas Vincent (minister)

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Thomas Vincent (May 1634 15 October 1678) was an English Puritan minister and author. He is referenced as a main character featured in "The Living," by Anthony Clarvoe, a play about 1665 plague London.



Thomas Vincent, the second son of John Vincent and elder brother of Nathaniel Vincent (both also prominent ministers), [1] was born at Hertford in May 1634. After passing through Westminster School, and Felsted grammar school in Essex, he entered as a student at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1648, matriculated 27 February 1651, and graduated B.A. 16 March 1652, M.A. 1 June 1654, when he was chosen catechist. Leaving the university, he became chaplain to Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester. In 1656 he was incorporated at Cambridge. [2] [3] He was soon put into the sequestered rectory of St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, London (he was probably ordained by the sixth London classis ), and held it till the Uniformity Act of 1662 ejected him. [2]

Nathaniel Vincent Ejected English minister

Nathaniel Vincent (c.1639?–1697) was an English nonconformist minister, ejected in 1662 and several times imprisoned.

Hertford county town of Hertfordshire, England

Hertford is the historic county town of Hertfordshire, England, and is also a civil parish in the East Hertfordshire district of the county. Forming a civil parish, the 2011 census put the population of Hertford at about 26,000.

Westminster School school in Westminster, London, England

Westminster School is an independent day and boarding school in London, England, located within the precincts of Westminster Abbey. With origins before the 12th century, the educational tradition of Westminster probably dates back as far as 960, in line with the Abbey's history. Boys are admitted to the Under School at age seven and to the senior school at age thirteen; girls are admitted at age sixteen into the Sixth Form. The school has around 750 pupils; around a quarter are boarders, most of whom go home at weekends, after Saturday morning school. The school motto, Dat Deus Incrementum, is taken from the New Testament, specifically 1 Corinthians 3:6.

He retired to Hoxton, where he preached privately, and at the same time assisted Thomas Doolittle in his school at Bunhill Fields. During 1665, the year of the Great Plague of London, he preached constantly in parish churches. [2]

Hoxton district in the East End of London, England

Hoxton is an area of East London, part of the London Borough of Hackney, England. Together with the rest of Shoreditch, it is often described as part of the East End, the historic core of wider East London. Hoxton lies immediately north of the City of London financial district, forming the western part of Shoreditch; being part of the Ancient Parish and subsequent Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch, prior to its incorporation into the London Borough of Hackney.

Thomas Doolittle English nonconformist minister

Thomas Doolittle (1632?–1707) was an English nonconformist minister, tutor and author.

Bunhill Fields cemetery

Bunhill Fields is a former burial ground in central London, in the London Borough of Islington, just north of the City of London boundary. The site is managed as a public garden by the City of London Corporation. It is about 1.6 hectares in extent, although historically it was much larger.

And if Monday night was dreadful, Tuesday night was more dreadful, when far the greatest part of the city was consumed: many thousands who on Saturday had houses convenient in the city, both for themselves, and to entertain others, now have not where to lay their head; and the fields are the only receptacle which they can find for themselves and their goods; most of the late inhabitants of London lie all night in the open air, with no other canopy over them but that of the heavens: the fire is still making towards them, and threateneth the suburbs; it was amazing to see how it had spread itself several times in compass; and, amongst other things that night, the sight of Guildhall was a fearful spectacle, which stood the whole body of it together in view, for several hours together, after the fire had taken it, without flames, (I suppose because the timber was such solid oak,) in a bright shining coal as if it had been a palace of gold, or a great building of burnished brass. [4]

His account of the plague in God's Terrible Voice in the City by Plague and Fire, 1667, is graphic; seven in his own household died as a result of the plague. [2] Subsequently he gathered a large congregation at Hoxton, apparently in a wooden meeting-house, of which for a time he was dispossessed. [2]

He was among the signers of the 1673 Puritan Preface to the Scots Metrical Psalter. He did not escape imprisonment for his nonconformity. He died on 15 October 1678, and was buried (27 October) in the churchyard of St Giles-without-Cripplegate. His funeral sermon was preached by Samuel Slater. [2]

St Giles-without-Cripplegate Church in City of London

St Giles-without-Cripplegate is an Anglican church in the City of London, located on Fore Street within the modern Barbican complex. When built it stood without the city wall, near the Cripplegate. The church is dedicated to St Giles, patron saint of lepers, beggars and the handicapped. It is one of the few medieval churches left in the City of London, having survived the Great Fire of 1666.

Published works

His publications were: [5]

  1. A Spiritual Antidote for a Dying Soul (1665). [2]
  2. God's Terrible Voice in the City (1667). [2] [6]
  3. Of Christ's Certain and Sudden Appearance to Judgment. [7]
  4. The Foundation of God standeth Sure (1668) against William Penn. [7]
  5. Defence of the Trinity, Satisfaction by Christ, and Justification of Sinners. [7]
  6. Wells of Salvation Opened, (1669). [2]
  7. The Only Deliverer from the Wrath to Come! Fire and Brimstone in Hell, to Burn the Wicked (1670) [7]
  8. An Explanation of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism . (1675) [7]
  9. The True Christians Love to the Unseen Christ. [8]
  10. A Sermon on Isa. Ivii. 1, 2. [5] )
  11. Holy and Profitable Sayings (1680), posthumous broadsheet. [2]


  1. Vincent 1812, p. 3.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Gordon 1899, p. 363.
  3. "Vincent, Thomas (VNCT656T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. Vincent 1811, pp. 49, 50.
  5. 1 2 Dunn 1844, pp. 149, 150.
  6. Vincent 1811.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Dunn 1844, p. 150.
  8. Vincent 1812.

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