Extract from No. 130. Volume XXXIII (April 1924)
Some Essex Royalist Clergy – and Others
By the Rev Harold Smith DD
There is a long letter from Simon Lynch, the third of the name. (MSS, J Walker. C.I.27.) He speaks first of his grandfather, Simon Lynch, of North Weald, included in Fuller’s Worthies. ‘My grandfather Mr Simon Lynch, was presented to the vicarage of North Weale two miles beyond Epping in Essex by Bishop Elmer, then Bishop of London, his relation, giving him strict charge of feeding his lambs till he could make better provision for him; which afterwards he frequently would have proffered him, but he as often replied, His lambs were not yet become sheep; tho’ he lived to bury ye parish 3 times over, being near of a 100 years of age, which is noted and quoted with other observations and remarks at the beginning of the first part of Fuller’s Worthies. Now I’ll give you an account of his son, Mr Simon Lynch, Rector of Runwell in the same county, within 5 miles of Ingatestone and Billericay, who was sequestered from his benefice worth £140 per Annum in his days, for not complying with the barbarity, unnaturalness and inhumanity of the wicked in wicked times; [he] accepted the curacy of Blackmore from the worshippfull Major Smith, who was patron and parson, it being an impropriation, never before allowed but £20 per annum; notwithstanding his persecutions, prosecutions for being in the King’s service at Colchester leaguer, and for which being often in prison and decimated, yet this worthy gentleman allowed to my father £30 per annum, being a sufferer with him; who then rode every Sunday from North Weale, his father’s house, where he sojourned to Blackmore to supply his cure and officiate, which was seven miles and as bad a read as a man could ride, and in all weathers for some years, resolving by the assistance of God Almighty to omit no part of his duty since he was cald to ye ministry, but would minister God’s Word not for profit but for conscience sake; for whilst he there officiated he was proffered a benefice in Norfolk of £400 per annum, and courted for acceptance, which he yett refused rather than comply with the profligated wretches in their dismall and fatall times of oppression; and all the time of his sequestration one Greene, a broken puritanical shop-keeper, enjoyed his living, my Father no ways seemingly to make godliness his gaine, for his expressions quotidie were. If it pleased Almighty God to spare his life to see King Charles ye 2 restored to his kingdom, he should not care how soon after his dissolution was to make resignation of his soule to ye great God yt gave it; who lived to see yt happy day, and just as he was going to receive and take possession of his parsonage he made his exit.’
The letter goes on to speak of his will, which contains a copy of the inscription ‘he ordered to be put up on a marble tombstone, which was effected when he was interred at Blackmore, declaring his persecutions by Gog and Magog.’
Notes. (1) The precise date and grounds of Lynch’s sequestration from Runwell do not appear; probably 1644. His appointment to Blackmore seems to date March 1646/47, as he was then referred to the Westminster Assemble for it. (MS. Bod. 324,f,190.) He was even granted £50 yearly augmentation; he complained in October that he had not received that sum due last Lady Day. The Committee ordered it to be paid. (MS. Bod. 325,f.84.) But it is doubtful how much of this Lynch ever had; if his previous sequestration were brought up it would probably be stopped, especially as his patron was concerned in the Second Civil War. At all events it appears in no subsequent notice or list. The Inquisition of 1650 was not favourable to him. ‘Simon Lynce, Clerk, supplyeth the Cure by the appointment of the said Stephen Smith, Esq., who payes him for his paynes thirtye poundes per Ann. The said Simon Lynce, Clerk, was putt out of Runwell for his scandalous life, and brought into this parish without the consent of the well affected inhabitants.’
(2) The value of Runwell is given at the Inquisition as Glebe £10. Tithe £65. (The estimates at the Inquisition are generally ‘conservative’). The ‘Intruders’ were (a) Nehemiah Long, who had much dispute with Mrs Lynch about her ‘fifth part’. About 1647 he went to Matching, and was afterwards at Dengie and Steeple. (b) ‘Mr Oakley’ was there in 1650; he paid £12 yearly to Lynch. (c) Nicholas Greene, appointed March 1655/56. He was ejected 1660, but was apparently vicar of East Hanningfield, 1663-1669.