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he preached some years, till about 1793, when he removed to Bartholomew-Close. There he continued several years, was much followed, and had a Thursday lecture. In 1798, he removed to a large and more commodious meeting-house at the Three Cranes, near Queen-street, Cheapside, where he now preaches.
WILLIAM BRAITHWAIT.–Mr. Davies was succeeded by Mr. William Braithwaite, originally a printer. He was some time in the Countess's connexion, and patronized by Mr. Wills, in whose chapels he frequently officiated. Ho was for some years a close follower of Mr. Romaine, whom he affected to imitate, and was a great admirer of Hutchinson. In the year 1798, he took the meeting-house in Bartholomew-Close, where he raised a congregation, and continued preaching there till 1803, when he removed to Cross-street, Hatton-garden, where he was amazingly followed, and continued preaching till his death, in 1807.
THOMAS MADDEN.-Upon the removal of Mr. Braithwaite, Bartholomew-Close meeting was taken by Mr. Thomas Madden, who was likewise under Mr. Wills's
the removal of his patron, raised a congregation at Bartholomew-Close, where he preached about a twelvemonth, when he removed to a large room which he fitted up for a chapel, with an organ and prayer-reader, and other requisites, and where he was much followed. After preaching there a few years, he removed towards the latter end of last year (1809) to a new meeting-house in Aldersgate-street.
Joseph More.-Mr. Madden was followed by Mr. Joseph More, who had preached at various places in the vicinity of London ; as at West-lane, at Queen-street, Ratcliffe, &c. He preached at Bartholoniew-Close but a short time, and left it about 1805.
HIGIL-HALL. — Independent, Extinct.
JOHN LATCHFORD.-He followed Mr. More at this place about the year 1806, and is the present minister at Bartholomew-Close. Though his hearers are of the poorer sort, he is nevertheless, tolerably well attended.
, -, Smithfield, was anciently the city residence of the Prior of Semprirgham, in Lincolnshire. It was an ancient structure of wood and stone, and went by the name of SempringhamHead-lIouse. In the reign of Charles II. a part of this building was converted into a meeting-house for the use of the Nonconformists, and we have notice of two congregations that successively occupied. One was of the Independent, and the other of the Baptist persuasion. The building having been long since destroyed, and no records of it preserved, any description of the meeting-house is not now to be expected. With respect to the Independent congregation, it was gathered in the former part of the reign of Charles II. by Mr. John Yaxley, the ejected minister of Kibworth, in Leicestershire, who preached here a considerable number of years, and lived to an advanced age. His assistant and successor, Mr. Thomas Powell, of whom an account has been given in a preceding article, removed his people to Jewin-street, and from thence to some other place, of which we have no account; and in a little time his congregation became extinct. Having given this brief introduc
HIGH-HALL.-- Independent, Extinct.
tion, we will present the reader with some brief memorials of Mr. Yaxley, and then advert to the society of Baptists.
JOHN YAILEY received his education in St. John's College, Cambridge. During the civil wars he sided with the parliament, and accepted a captain's commission in the army. He continued in arms some years at Uttoxeter, Worcester, and other places, and opposed the loyal Sir George Booth. Mr. Nichols, in his history of Leicestershire, relates some disorders committed by his army, and accuses him of great severity towards the cavaliers. This, it is very possible, might be true; but the same things may be said of the opposite party, for when any towns that sided with the parliament fell into the hands of the royalists, the inhabitants were treated with severity enough. About the year 1647, he was presented by the committee for plundered ministers, to the living of Kibworth, in Leicestershire, and is said to have taken forcible possession of the living, by entering the church with a party of soldiers. He is reported to have constantly fireached and prayed against the Stuarts; and, with thirty-six other ministers, petitioned that King Charles I. might be brought to trial. He also petitioned against Sir G. Booth's party, and seems to have taken too active a part in the politics of those troublesome times. It is said that he caused the font to be taken out of the church, and converted it into an horse-trough. If this be true, it cannot be censured with too great severity.
After the restoration, Mr. Yaxley was repaid with interest for his conduct in the late times. He was not only dispossessed of his living, which was restored to the former in
cumbent, but robbed of his goods, and arraigned for his life, for saying in the pulpit, that “ he thought hell was broke loose, and the devil with his instruments were come to persecute the godly.” His enemies would have made these words treason against the King and government, and articles against him were read in the House of Lords, July 12, 1662, but they were not permitted to take away his life. From some papers published in these times it appears, that great violence was used on both sides in dispossessing his family of the parsonage house on the 17th August, 1660. Mr. Yaxley being in London, Mr. Beridge, the patron, entered the house with two other persons, and demanded possession. Mrs. Yaxley withdrew; but in about an hour afterwards, returned with about half a dozen other persons, who had been officers and soldiers in the late times, and demanded reinstatement, using at the same time opprobrious language towards the cavalier party. Her demeanour upon this occasion, not being relished by one Clark, who was of Be. ridge's party, he discharged a pistol at her. This is the account published by the adverse party; but if we may believe the narrative published by a person present, who espoused Mrs. Yaxley's cause, it is materially defective. That narra. tive says, that Mrs. Yaxley was miserably abused by the soldiers, who pushed her down stairs headlong, and turned her out of doors more than half naked, nor would they suffer her to return for the smallest article of dress. The servants they served in a similar manner, and took forcible possession of every thing in the house. In her fright she forgot a grand-daughter that lay in the cradle ; and when she returned back for it, was refused admittance. Looking through the hall-window, she saw the child in the cradle, and the soldiers by it; when in an agony she cried out to them, “You villains, will you kill my child ?” Upon this, they fired at her through the window, and so wounded her in the face, that she lost her sight to the day of her death.
Mr. Yaxley preached for many years at High-Hall, and
lived to be between seventy a nd eighty years of age. Dr. Calamy gives him the character of “ a plain-hearted, sincere, humble, pious, communicative person, a faithful friend, and very zealous in promoting reformation, both in his own parish, and in the whole country, while he was in public.”*
THOMAS Powell.- We have nothing to add to the account given of Mr. Powell under a former article; and shall only observe in this place, that he came to London in the year 1676, and preached seven years at High-Hall, first, as it is apprehended, along with Mr. Yaxley, and afterwards by himself. Upon Mr. Shower's removal to the Old Jewry, he conducted his people to Jewin-street, and afterwards to some other place, of which we find no mention. The time of his death cannot be ascertained with certainty, but his church dissolved either on or before that event.
The Baptist congregation that occupied High-Hall after the removal of Mr. Powell, was of the General persuasion. It was collected by Dr. William Russel, who must have been pastor of the Society a considerable number of years, as he published a book as early as 1663, and died in 1702. During the chief part of his time the church met elsewhere, but the name of the place we have not been able to discover. Dr. Russel was succeeded after a considerable interval, by a Mr. Joseph Jenkins, who continued pastor of the Society at High-Hall, till 1716, when he accepted a call from the General Baptist Society at the Park-meeting, Southwark. After his removal, the church at High-Hall became extinct, most of Mr. Jenkins's people following him to the Park. We shall lay before our readers a few particulars relating to both these ministers.
Calamy's Acc. p. 422. Contin. p. 586. -Noncon. Mem. vol. ij.
P. 390, 474,