Bampfield (or Bampfylde), Francis

Bampfield (Or Bampfylde), Francis an English Baptist minister, was born at Portimon, Devonshire, about the year 1610, being descended from an ancient and honorable family. His parents having consecrated him to the work of the Christian ministry, he was sent, at the age of sixteen, to Waldham College, Oxford, where he took the degree of A.M. in 1638. Soon after leaving the university, he received orders in the Established Church, and was appointed to a living in Dorsetshire. Here he performed most faithfully his duties as a minister, spending a small annuity of his own in works of Christian charity among his parishioners. On the breaking-out of the civil war in England, he was an open, avowed loyalist as well as a zealous conformist. Such was the zeal he displayed that he was appointed a prebendary in the Cathedral of Exeter, entering upon the duties of his office May 15, 1647. He was not blind, however, to the fact that a great reform needed to be effected in the Church of England; and, as a conscientious minister, he set himself to do what he could to bring it about. The trouble and persecution which he encountered resulted in his enlisting himself on the side of the Parliament. In 1655 he became a minister of the parish in Sherborne. The passage of the Uniformity Act, with the conditions of which he was altogether dissatisfied, was the occasion of his resigning his position. He now was exposed to the persecuting spirit of the times, which assailed him with great virulence. For eight years he was imprisoned in Dorchester jail. In his confinement he preached almost every day, and his labors were signally blessed to his fellow-prisoners. Being discharged in 1675, he resumed his preaching, and was again imprisoned for a few months. It was about this time that he became an avowed Baptist. For several years he preached in London, where he experienced all kinds of annoyance in his work. At length he was committed to Newgate, and, after undergoing many indignities, he died in consequence of the hardships to which he had been subjected, Feb. 15, 1684. His biographer says that "he was a man of great learning and judgment, and one of the most celebrated preachers in the West of England. After he became a Baptist he lost much of his reputation among his former friends, but preserved his integrity to the last." Among his published writings were the following: — Judgment or Observation of the Jewish Sabbath, with Mr. Ben's Answer (Lond. 1672): — All in One; All Useful Sciences and Profitable Arts, in One Book of Jehovah Elohim (ibid. 1677, 2 pts.): — Historical Declaration of the Life of Shim Asher (ibid. 1681, fol.): — Grammatical Opening of Some Hebrew Words in the

Bible (1684). See Haynes, Baptist Cyclop. i, 50, 54; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v. (J. C. S.)

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