Walker, Obadiah

Walker, Obadiah a learned divine, first of the Church of England, and then of the Roman Catholic Church, was born at Worsborough, Yorkshire, England, about 1616. He was educated at University College, Oxford, where he graduated in 1635; took holy orders in 1638, and became a noted tutor; he was for a time one of the preachers before the court of Charles I at Oxford. In May, 1648, he was ejected from his fellowship, and traveled on the Continent, residing mostly at Rome. After the Restoration he was reinstated in his fellowship, and made another visit to Rome as traveling tutor to some young gentlemen. In 1676 he was chosen master of his college, and was also assistant to Abraham Woodhead, who kept a popish seminary. He soon began to give indications of a decided leaning towards the Roman Catholic religion. He went to London in 1685, and on his return to college he announced himself a Roman Catholic. He had mass in his private lodgings, and in 1687, under letters patent from King James, began the publication of books against the Reformed religion. He had some apartments in the college arranged for his use as a chapel, and the income of a fellowship set apart for the maintenance of a priest. For these acts, which were violations of law, he was imprisoned in the Tower, but afterwards released in 1690. He died Jan. 21, 1699. Among his published works are, a Greek and Roman History, Illustrated by Coins and Medals (1692): — A Brief Account of Ancient Church Government (1662): — An Historical Narration of the Life and Death of Christ (1685): — and many others.

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