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The History Of All Saints' Wickhambrook

Anthony Sparrow

Taken from "The Church Of Saint Mary Hawkedon", its history pamphlet.

By far the most important was Anthony Sparrow inducted 1647 a celebrated royalist divine. Born son of Samuel Sparrow, a well to do yeoman, he was baptised in 1612 at Wickhambrook. He was a Scholar of Queens College, Cambridge, later a Fellow, and a portrait of him in Bishops robes is preserved in the College. Always a loyal royalist he was ejected from his college by the Earl of Manchester, head of the Parliamentary troops in 1644. Soon after (1647) his father procured him the living of Hawkedon which he held for five years. He was ousted by the Committee of Religion, sitting at Westminster because he constantly used the Book of Common Prayer instead of the "Directory". He retired to Depden where he married and had six children, and his curate, Stephen Newson, succeeded him in Hawkedon. Whilst in retirement he wrote several learned books and treatises on Divinity, but at the Restoration he came into his own again, recovered his Rectory at Hawkedon, was elected as a preacher in Bury St. Edmunds, made Archdeacon of Sudbury 1660, a peculiar of Canterbury 1660/61, Master of Queens, his old College in Cambridge 1662, and Vice Chancellor of the University in 1664. He shortly afterwards resigned his living in Hawkedon where he laid out £200 in repairs. He also gave £400 to the rebuilding of St. Paul's Cathedral after the Great Fire of London. In 1667 Charles II made him Bishop of Exeter which See he held for nine years and in 1676 he was made Bishop of Norwich where he died at his palace in his seventy-fourth year, much revered and beloved but wasted with disease. He was buried at the East end of the Bishop's chapel attached to the palace. The Latin inscription in the chancel of Hawkedon Church to Holgate (Gulieliemus Holgatum) is probably by him, and it is probably he who gave the church its hound sejant chalice and flagon.

Last Modified Thursday 05 May 2011