Percival Wyburn, D. D.—The earliest account we meet with of this excellent divine, is in March, 1560, when, by an order from Bishop Grindal, he was ordained by Bishop Davies.J He was chosen proctor of the cathedral of Rochester, in the convocation of 1562; when he sat in that learned assembly, and subscribed the articles of religion.^ During the same year he became prebendary of Westminster, and, the year following, vicar of St. Sepulchre's, London.[i The last he did not hold very long; for in 1564, being convened before Archbishop Parker, and refusing subscription, he was sequestered and deprived.! He remained under his lordship's censure till
• Wood's Athens Oxon. vol. i. p. 358—862. —Granger's Bing. Hist, vol. ii. p. 35. + Wood's Athena, vol. i. p. 283, 284.
t Strype's Grindal, p. 39. ^ Strype'i Annals, vol. i. p. 290.
| Newcourt's Repert. Eccl, vol. i. p. 534. 1 Strype's Grindal, p. 98.
the year 1567, at which time, because he was of the number of those divines who were styled peaceable nonconformists, he was treated with some degree of gentleness, and obtained a license to preach; or, at least, a connivance to continue in the ministry.*
In the year 1571, he was again convened before the archbishop and other high commissioners, at Lambeth, when he underwent an examination. Mr. Christopher Goodman, Mr. Edward Deering, and Mr. John Field, were convened at the same time. Dr. Wyburn, together with his brethren, presented on this occasion the following proposals to their lordships:—1. " I am ready to subscribe to the true christian faith, and the doctrine of the sacraments, as contained in the Book of Articles.—2. As to the Book of Common Prayer, appointed by public authority, it contains, even as you confess yourselves, some imperfections; and I confess the same. Yet, lhat I may testify my great desire of brotherly concord, I will subscribe to the doctrine of faith, and administration of the sacraments, in the same book; so far as they make for edification, and arc agreeable to the foresaid Book of Articles.—And, 3. As to the apparel appointed, because it seemeth not unto me to be sufficiently authorized by the word of God, for the ministers to be required to use it, I dare not use it, for fear of offence, humbly beseeching your honours' consideration thereof. Yet I do not judge or condemn others in using the same; for to the Lord they stand or fall, as I also do. Neither would I break tlte unity of the christian faith, by withdrawing my duty from preaching the truth and faith, as in the Book of Articles contained: to the end, that we may not go backwards, but forwards to perfection."t It does not, however, appear what was the result of his examination, or of these proposals.
In the year 1573, Dr. Wyburn, with many of his brethren, was again brought before the high commission, and convened before the council, when certain articles were presented to him, requiring his subscription. But, after a long examination, refusing to subscribe, he was suspended from preaching.f About the same time, he wrote the excellent letter generally ascribed to him, in defence of himself and his brethren, who were deprived by the arbitrary proceedings of the prelates.^
• Strype's Parker, p. 243,325,413. + MS. Register, p. 117.
J Newcourl's Repert. Keel. vol. i. p. 534.
S Parte of a Register, p. 1—18.
Though it does not appear how long he continued under the above suspension, he was afterwards restored to his ministry, and was preacher at Rochester. In the year 1581, he was one of the learned divines who were deemed most proper to dispute with the papists, and was nominated for that purpose.* However, the peaceable exercise of his ministry was not of long continuance. The extended arms of the high commissioners soon again laid bold of him. He was again suspended, and continued under suspension at least five years.t Towards the close of life, he preached statedly at Battersea, near London, where, by a fall, he broke his leg, and was for some time disabled from attending to the public duties of his ministry; but had the assistance of Mr. Richard Sedgwick, another puritan divine.f He was a learned and pious divine, a zealous enemy to popery, a constant advocate for a further reformation, and a firm and peaceable nonconformist. He died about the year 1606, at an advanced age.l He seldom or never wore the hood and surplice for the space of forty years.]