Matthew Newcomen - Encyclopedia




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MATTHEW NEWCOMEN (c. 1610-1669), English nonconformist divine, was born about 1610 and educated at St John's College, Cambridge (M.A. 1633). In 1636 he became lecturer at Dedham in Essex, and was the leader of the church reform party in that county. He assisted the elder Calamy in writing Smectymnuus (1641), and preached before parliament in 1643. He was a man of many gifts, excelling alike in preaching, in debate and in friendship, and declined many offers of more remunerative service. He protested against the extreme democratic proposals called "The Agreement of the People" (1647), and was one of the commissioners at the Savoy Synod of 1658. On the passing of the Act of Uniformity in 1662, Newcomen lost his living, but was soon invited to the pastorate at Leiden, where he was held in high esteem not only by his own people but by the university professors. He died of the plague in 1669.

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