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Legacy Library: John Oxenbridge

JohnOxenbridge is a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

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Member: JohnOxenbridge

CollectionsYour library (18)


TagsReligion (13), Biblical Commentary (5), History (4), Ecclesiastical History (2), Bibliography (2), Library Catalogues (1), Ethics (1), France (1), Philosophy (1), Medicine (1) — see all tags

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About meJohn Oxenbridge (30 January 1608 - 28 December 1674). Born at Daventry, England, Oxenbridge was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and Magdalen Hall, Oxford (taking degrees at the latter in 1628 and 1631). He was briefly a tutor at Magdalen but was "distutored" by Laud in 1634, having "been found guilty of a strange, singular, and superstitious way of dealing with his scholars, by persuading and causing some of them to subscribe as votaries to several articles framed by himself (as he pretends) for their better government; as if the statutes of the place he lives in, and the authorities of the present governors were not sufficient."

Having left Oxford, Oxenbridge preached for a time, then took two voyages to Bermuda, returning to England in 1641 and taking up as a sort of itinerant preacher. He was made a fellow at Eton in October 1652, where he became friends with the poet Andrew Marvell. He was ousted from his fellowship upon the restoration in 1660, and returned to preach in Berwick-on-Tweed until 1662. He then was "tumbled around the world in uncertain times," going to Suriname, then Barbados (1667), and then to Boston, Massachusetts in 1669. There he joined Rev. James Allen in the ministry of the First Church, where he remained until his death. He was admitted a freeman of Boston on 11 May 1670, and in December 1671 his parisioners voted him a gratuity of £50. He preached the official "election sermon" in 1672, was censor in 1673, and served as one of three executors for the will of Governor Bellingham. Oxenbridge published several sermons during his lifetime.

Thomas à Wood described Oxenbridge as "a strange hodg-podg of opinions, not easily to be described, was of a roving and rambling head, spent much, and I think died in a mean condition." Cotton Mather was more charitable: "The abilities of inclinations of this worthy man are discovered in several of his published composures. The piety which breathed in these composures was but what he maintained in his daily talk, and sometimes he formed the desire to articulate the breathings of it in writing." Oxenbridge was stricken in what Mather described as "an apoplexy" while delivering a sermon, and died shortly thereafter.

Oxenbridge's first wife was Jane Butler (1621-1658), by whom he had a son Daniel Oxenbridge (who was educated as a physician, but died young), and daughter Bathshua (later the wife of Richard Scott of Jamaica). Oxenbridge married secondly Frances Woodward, but she died in childbirth within a year. The child, Theodora, later married Rev. Peter Thatcher, who came to Milton, MA. His third marriage, possibly conducted during his time in Barbados, was to widow Susanna Abbit, who survived him and lived until 1696. Her will also lists books, so she also has an LT catalog.

About my libraryOxenbridge's library as reflected here includes the books listed in his will, dated at Boston, 12 March 1673/4. The will does not list additional books; perhaps Oxenbridge's peripatetic nature kept him from acquiring a large collection.

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Questions? Comments? Concerns? Do you know of additional books which should be included here? Please contact Libraries of Early America coordinator Jeremy Dibbell.


Real nameJohn Oxenbridge

LocationBoston, MA

Favorite authorsNot set

URLs /profile/JohnOxenbridge (profile)
/catalog/JohnOxenbridge (library)

Member sinceFeb 25, 2010

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