Henry Tozer (1602-1650)A Puritan minister, and member of the Westminster Assembly.
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Biography of Henry Tozer (1602-1650):
Henry Tozer (1602-1650) puritan royalist, born in 1602 at North Tawton, Devonshire, matriculated from Exeter College, Oxford, on May 3, 1621, and graduated with a B.A. on June 18, 1623, and an M.A. on April 28, 1626. He took holy orders, was appointed lecturer at St. Martin’s Church (Carfax, Oxford) on Oct. 21, 1632, and proceeded to gain a B.D. on July 28, 1636. Because of his strong puritan views, he was elected in 1643 to the Westminster assembly, but refused to sit, nor would he accept the degree of D.D. when nominated for it on June 6, 1646. Tozer was appointed vicar of Yarnton in 1644. He probably served the parish from Oxford, as he never lived there.
As bursar and sub-rector of Exeter College, Tozer managed the college in the absence of George Hakewill [q. v.], the rector. In March 1647 he was cited before the parliamentary visitors for continuing the common prayer, and for his known disfavour to parliamentarians. In November he was summoned to Westminster before the parliamentary commission, and the following year was imprisoned for some days on refusing to give up the college books. He was expelled from his fellowship on May 26, 1648, and on June 4, turned out of St. Martin’s Church by soldiers because he prayed for the king, and ‘breathed out pestilent air of unsound doctrine.’ The decree, however, was revoked on Nov. 2nd, and Tozer was allowed to travel for three years, retaining his room in Exeter College.
Tozer then went to Holland, and became minister to the English merchants at Rotterdam, where he died on Sept. 11, 1650; he was buried in the English church there.
[Foster’s Alumni Oxon. 1500-1714; Wood’s Athenae, ed. Bliss, iii. 273, and Hist. and Antiq. Univ. Oxford, vol. ii.pt. ii, pp. 508, 531, 552-4, 574, 588, 590, 593, 594; Wood’s Life and Times, i. 444, and Hist. of Kidlington, pp. 220, 222, 223, &c., both published by Oxford Hist. Soc.; Prince’s Worthies of Devon, p. 574; Hist. MSS. Cornm. 2nd Rep. App. p. 127; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1629-31, p. 260; Boase’s Register of Exeter Coll. pp. cix, cxvii-cxx, 99; Conant’s Life, p. 9; Madan’s Early Oxford Press; Walker’s Sufferings, ii. 115; Brook’s Lives of the Puritans, iii. 112; Journals of the House of Commons, ii. 541.]
The Works of Henry Tozer:
1. A Christian Amendment, delivered in a sermon…in St. Martine’s Church in Oxford, etc. 16o. John Lichfield: Oxford, 1633.
2. Christian Wisdome, or the excellency, fame, and right meanes of true wisdome. As it was briefly delivered in a sermon in St. Maries Church in Oxford. 16o. L. Lichfield: Oxford, 1639.
3. Christus: sive Dicta et Facta Christi: prout a quatuor Evangelistis sparsum recitantur. Collecta et ordine disposita ab H. Tozer. G. Turner: Oxoniae, 1634.
4. Directions for a godly life: especially for communicating at the Lord’s Table. Oxford, 1628.