5 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

L&M: "William Spurstowe, a leading Presbyterian minister; recently [October 7, 1660] made chaplain to the King."

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

William Spurstow, D.D., Vicar of Hackney and Master of Catharine Hall, Cambridge, both which pieces of preferment he lost for nonconformity, 1662.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

William Spurstowe (Spurstow) (c. 1605–1666) was an English clergyman, theologian, and member of the Westminster Assembly. He became a Fellow of St. Katherine's Hall College, Cambridge in 1638, during the Mastership of Ralph Brownrigg, and succeeded as Master in 1645. He became vicar of Hackney in 1643, and was made Master of his college. He was deprived of the mastership, in 1650. After the Restoration, he was consulted on the Declaration of Indulgence. He was ejected from his parish of Hackney for nonconformity, in 1662. He remained in Hackney, welcomed Richard Baxter, employed Ezekiel Hopkins, and provided a focus for numerous other ejected ministers. He built six almshouses there, work starting shortly before his death. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wil…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

William Spurstowe, D.D. (1605?–1666), was a Calvinist puritan divine, son and heir of William Spurstowe, citizen and mercer of London, who was connected with the Spurstowes of Bunbury, Cheshire.

He was born in London about 1605.
He was admitted a pensioner at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1623, graduated B.A. 1626, M.A. 1630, and obtained a fellowship at Catharine Hall, which he resigned in 1637.
He had been awarded a B.A. at Oxford on July 15, 1628.

His first preferment was the rectory of Great Hampden, Bucks., to which he was instituted June 30, 1638, although he signed the register as rector in August, 1637; he succeeded Egeon Askew who was buried on May 10, 1637.

His connection with the parliamentary leader John Hampden (1594–1643) probably provided his introduction to public life.
He was one of the 5 divines [see Thomas Smith’s "Select Memoirs of the English and Scottish Divines on Edmund Calamy, the elder"] who wrote in 1641 as “Smectymnvvs” (the last 3 letters being his initials [VVS, or WS]).
In 1642 he was chaplain to Hampden’s regiment of “green coats.”

With the other Smectymnuans he was included in the original summons (June 12, 1643) to the Westminster Assembly of divines, and took the “league and covenant” the following September.

He preached 4 times over the course of the Assembly to them on various subjects. Among these sermons were, “England’s Patterne and Duty” (1643), and “England’s Eminent Judgments” (1644).

On May 3, 1643 he succeeded Calybute Downing as vicar of Hackney, Middx.

On the deprivation (1645) of Ralph Brownrig he was put into the mastership of Catharine Hall, having been approved for it by the Westminster Assembly (May 12, 1645).
He had previously been approved (Feb. 17) for the mastership of Clare College, but this was given to Ralph Cudworth.

He was a member of the provincial assembly of London, and at its first meeting (May 3, 1647) was placed on its committee.

Spurstowe was one of the clerical commissioners appointed to confer with King Charles in the Isle of Wight (Sept.–Nov., 1648).

Clarendon affirms that he and William Jenkyn told King Charles “if he did not consent to the total abolishing of episcopacy, he would be damned.”
As it stands, the statement is not credible.
Spurstowe was strongly opposed to the judicial proceedings against the King, and in Jan. 1649 signed the “Vindication” promoted by Cornelius Burges, D.D., protesting the trial.

In "The Spiritual Chemyst", his 26th meditation is titled “Upon the Royal Oak,” which gives expression to his loyalty.

In 1649 he was made D.D.
He refused the engagement (Oct. 12, 1649) of allegiance to the existing government “without a king or a house of lords;” and, failing to take it by March 23, 1650, was deprived of his mastership of Catharine Hall, which, in Nov., was given to John Lightfoot (1602–1675).

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


At the Restoration of Charles II, John Lightfoot offered to resign the mastership in William Spurstowe's favor, but he declined.
He was made chaplain in ordinary to Charles II, and once preached at court.
Ezekiel Hopkins, D.D., was his curate in 1660.

In the negotiations for an accommodation of religious parties, Spurstow was consulted as a leading man, and was a commissioner to the Savoy Conference (April–July 1661), but took no prominent part.

At his vicarage-house at Hackney, Richard Baxter spent a week in retirement while preparing the answer to the Episcopal defense of the Book of Common Prayer.

He resigned his living on the coming into force of the Uniformity Act (Aug. 24, 1662), and was succeeded (Sept. 22) by Thomas Jeamson, B.D.

From this time he lived retired at Hackney, being a man of independent fortune.
In 1664 he visited Cambridge, and was entertained at dinner in Catharine Hall.

Richard Baxter describes him as “an ancient, calm, reverend minister.”
Calamy speaks of his charity and the agreeableness of his conversation.

He died early in 1666, and was buried at Hackney on 8 Feb.

His only child, William, died at Hackney in March 1654, aged 9.
His widow, Sarah became the second wife of Anthony Tuckney in 1669.

William Spurstow founded 6 almshouses for 6 poor widows at Hackney, which were finished in 1666, and endowed by his brother and heir, Henry Spurstowe, a London merchant.
See: https://www.apuritansmind.com/pur…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Oct