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Richard Holdsworth

(1590—1649) Church of England clergyman and college head


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Richard Holdsworth was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and died in London on 22 August 1649. He was educated at the Grammar School in Newcastle-upon-Tyne before entering St John's College, Cambridge as a Scholar in 1607. He graduated BA in 1610, was elected a Fellow of the College in 1613 and was ordained shortly after. He became one of the University preachers at Cambridge in 1620, and from 1624 his preaching as rector of St Peter-le-Poer in London attracted great attention. He was appointed Gresham Professor of Divinity in 1629 and elected President of Sion College in 1639. In 1637 he was elected Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, while retaining his London connections. He was a moderate Puritan opposed both to Laud and to the sectarian Puritans. His eventual Royalism brought him into conflict with Parliament on College matters and, as Vice-Chancellor, on Parliamentary interference in University affairs. He was arrested and remained in jail until 1645, his living and Mastership having been sequestered. Charles I presented him to the deanery of Worcester and he was elected to the Lady Margaret Chair at Cambridge, though circumstances precluded enjoyment of either office.

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From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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