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John Howe

1630-1705. English Nonconformist minister. Born at Loughborough, Leicester, he studied at Christ's College, Cambridge, and then Brasenose College, Oxford. In 1652 he became a fellow of Magdalen and was also ordained by Charles Herle and other ministers at Winwick, Lancashire. In 1654 he was given the “perpetual curacy” of Great Torrington, Devon, by the dean and canons of Christ Church, Oxford. At Torrington he labored to unite Presbyterians and Independents, but his work was halted when Oliver Cromwell called him to court in 1657 as a chaplain. Once again he tried to heal divisions among the various groups who frequented Whitehall. He also served Richard Cromwell. After the latter's resignation of the Protectorate, he returned to Torrington.

In 1662 Howe was ejected and for the next eight years he had his share of harassment under the Clarendon Code* while he preached from time to time in the homes of local gentry. Moving to Ireland in 1670 he became the chaplain to Lord Massareene in Antrim Castle. During his six years there he engaged in various schemes to educate Presbyterian clergy and also wrote The Living Temple of God (1675). In 1676 he returned to London as co-pastor of the Presbyterian congregation at Haberdashers' Hall. During 1685-87 he lived abroad, mostly at Utrecht. After the Toleration Act (1689) he labored to unite the Presbyterians and Independents, but the “Happy Union” he helped to forge was but a brief one. A six- volume edition of his works was published in 1862-63.