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William Lyford (1598-1653)

A Calvinistic English Puritan and member of the Westminster Assembly.

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His Works:

The Works of William Lyford available in old English: They currently being updated and published by Puritan Publications.

1. The Tryall of a Christians syncere love unto Christ. 16vo. 1634.
2. An Apologie for our public Ministerie, and Infant-Baptism, written some years ago for private satisfaction of some Dissenting Brethren, etc. 4to. pp. 46. J. Cranford: London, 1653.
3. Lyford’s Legacie, or an help to young people, preparing them for the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper. Together with four additional resolves of admission to the same, etc. 8vo. London, 1656.
4. The Plain man’s Senses exercised to discern both good and evil; or, a discovery of the errors, heresies, and blasphemies of these times and the toleration of them as they are collected and testified against by the ministers of London. (Some memorials of W. Lyford . . . by W. H., D.D.) 4to. London, 1655.
5. Principles of Faith & Good Conscience digested in a catechetical forme. London, 1642.
6. Three Sermons preached at Sherborne in Dorsetshire…upon…2 Cor. 2, 15, 16. 4to. 2 pt. E. Forrest: Oxford, 1654.
7. The Translation of a Sinner from death to life, by the free grace of God; opened in a sermon [on Titus 3:5], etc. 4to. Oxford, 1648.
8. Some memorialls of this godly…Minister of Christ W. Lyford, etc. 4to. 1655.


Biography of William Lyford (1598-1653):

William Lyford (1598-1653), nonconformist divine, son of William Lyford, rector of Peasemore, near Newbury, Berkshire, was born there in 1598. He entered Magdalen Hall, Oxford, as a commoner on April 26, 1615, became a demy of Magdalen College in 1617, and graduated with a B.A. on Dec. 16, 1618. He proceeded to gain an M.A. on June 14, 1621 (incorporated at Cambridge 1623), and finally a B.D. May 12, 1631. On the presentation of John Digby, earl of Bristol [q.v.], he became vicar of Sherborne, Dorset, in 1631. His Calvinistic views left him undisturbed during the civil war; he was chosen member of the Westminster Assembly, but did not sit—a fact which perhaps accounts for the mistaken assumption that he was a royalist (Walker, Sufferings of the Clergy, p. 419). In 1653 he was allowed an annuity of 44l. 18s. out of Lord Digby’s estate. Lyford died at Sherborne on 3 Oct. 1653, and was buried under the communion table in the chancel of the church. By his wife Elizabeth he left issue. By his will he bequeathed 120l. to Magdalen College, because, he says, he had in 1633 received 40l. for resigning his fellowship ‘according to the corrupt custom of those days;’ the money was really a compensation for not taking a college living.

[Wood’s Athenae Oxon. (ad. Bliss), iii. 345-6; Foster’s Alumni Oion. 1500-1714; Bloxam’s Reg. of Magdalen, v. 78; Hutchins’s Dorset, iv. 250. 264.]


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