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Francis Bampfield

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Name  Francis Bampfield
Parents  John Bampfield
Education  Wadham College, Oxford

Died  1683, Newgate, City of London, United Kingdom

Francis Bampfield (died 16 February 1683) was an English divine who was imprisoned for his convictions.



Bampfield was the third son of John Bampfield, of Poltimore House, Devon. He was from his birth designed for the ministry by his parents. In 1631, at about the age of sixteen, he entered Wadham College, Oxford, where he remained seven or eight years, taking his M.A. degree in 1638. He was ordained in 1641, and preferred to a living in Dorset, worth about £100 a year; this stipend he spent upon his parishioners, supplying his own wants out of private income. He was also collated to a prebend in Exeter Cathedral, in which he was reinstated at the Restoration.

A conviction that the church stood in urgent need of reform induced Bampfield to take steps distasteful to his parishioners, and, after much solicitation, he accepted the less valuable living of Sherborne. Here he remained until the Act of Uniformity 1662 drove him from his preferments. In September of that year he was arrested at home, and compelled to find sureties for his good behaviour. Soon afterwards he was again arrested, and detained for nearly nine years in Dorchester jail. Here he preached almost daily; and Thomas Armitage says, "he not only preached but formed a church within the prison walls." This was a Seventh-day Baptist Church, for soon after entering that prison he embraced the Sabbath doctrine and that of believer's baptism. After a short release; he was imprisoned in Salisbury (Wiltshire) for about eighteen months, which, he says, "filled up my ten days of tribulation in the letter of it - Rev. 2: 10." On his release from Salisbury prison he went to London and labored in the vicinity of Bethnal Green in the East of London.

At his discharge in 1675, he travelled through several counties preaching, and finally settled in London. After ministering in private for some time, he gathered a congregation of Sabbatarian Baptists at Pinners' Hall, Broad Street. Whilst conducting service there, in February 1682–3, he was arrested and carried before the lord mayor. After several appearances at the Old Bailey sessions, Bampfield was convicted and returned to Newgate, where he died on 16 February 1683. Large crowds of sympathisers attended his funeral at the Anabaptists' burial-ground in Aldersgate Street.


His works include:

  • The Judgment of Mr. Francis Bampfield for the Observation of the Jewish or Seventh-day Sabbath, 1672.
  • The Seventh-day Sabbath the Desirable Day, 1677.
  • All in One: All Useful Sciences and Profitable Arts in the One Book of Jehovah Elohim, 1677.
  • A Name, an After One, 1681.
  • The House of Wisdom, 1681.
  • The Lord's Free Prisoner, 1683.
  • A Just Appeal from the Lower Courts on Earth to the Highest Court in Heaven, 1683.
  • A Continuation of the former Just Appeal, 1683.
  • The Holy Scripture the Scripture of Truth, 1684.
  • References

    Francis Bampfield Wikipedia

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