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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Samuel Rosewell 1679-1722

Samuel Rosewell  1679-1722

Finished Matthew Henry's Commentary on Ephesians

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Ephesians by Samuel Rosewell

Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 49
Rosewell, Samuel

by Charlotte Fell Smith
ROSEWELL, SAMUEL (1679–1722), divine, born at Rotherhithe in 1679, was eldest son of Thomas Rosewell [q. v.], by his second wife. Owing to his father's death when he was twelve, Rosewell's education was unsettled, but he is stated to have graduated at a Scottish university.
He was chosen about 1701 as assistant to William Harris (1675?–1740) [q. v.] at Poor Jewry Lane presbyterian church, and continued there until invited in 1705 to assist John Howe (1630–1705) [q. v.] at the Silver Street Chapel, Wood Street, Cheapside. On 2 Aug. 1705 he was publicly ordained, and delivered his ‘Confession of faith,’ which was printed for his friends in 1706. It was afterwards reprinted without the author's name. After Howe's death, in 1705, Rosewell continued as assistant to John Spademan [q. v.], Howe's successor. At the same time he lectured at the Old Jewry on Sunday evenings, alternately with Benjamin Grosvenor [q. v.], and after the lecture was removed to Founder's Hall, Lothbury, in 1713, he was sole lecturer. He resigned his preferment from ill health in October 1719, and, removing to Mare Street, Hackney, died there, after a lingering illness, on 7 April 1722. His demeanour on his deathbed excited the admiration of his friend Isaac Watts [q. v.] He was buried in Bunhill Fields, near his father's grave. His wife, his mother, and his sisters all benefited by his will (P.C.C. 105, Marlbro).
He married, first, a daughter of Richard Russell, by whom he had no children; and secondly, Lettice, daughter of Richard Barrett, who died, aged 75, at Hackney, in 1762. By his second wife Rosewell had a son Thomas, and two daughters, Lettice and Susannah. A portrait, engraved by Vanderberghe, is given in the ‘Protestant Dissenters' Magazine’ for May 1794; another was engraved by Faber after J. Woolaston (Bromley).
Besides sermons, of which fifteen were separately published, Rosewell wrote: 1. ‘Seasonable Instruction for the Afflicted,’ London, 1711, 12mo. 2. ‘The Protestant Dissenters' Hopes from the Present Government freely declared,’ &c., London, 1716. 3. ‘The Life and Death of Mr. T. Rosewell’ [his father], London, 1718, 8vo. This is generally prefixed to the account of the trial of the latter [see under Rosewell, Thomas]. He contributed the commentary to St. Paul's Epistles to the Ephesians in the ‘Commentary’ of Matthew Henry [q. v.] (Prot. Diss. Mag. 1797, p. 472).
[Wilson's Hist. of Dissenting Churches, i. 76, iii. 49; Watts's Works, ed. 1812, i. 594; Protestant Dissenters' Mag. i. 177–83; Funeral Sermon by Jeremiah Smith; Life and Death of Mr. Thomas Rosewell.]

Reverend Samuel Rosewell (1679 – 7 April 1722) was a Presbyterian minister born at Rotherhithe, Surrey.

Early years and education

Samuel was the eldest son of Reverend Thomas Rosewell (1630–1692) and his second wife, Anne Godsalve (nėe Wanley). He was only 12 years old when his father died. He was a scholar at St Paul's School, London and is said to have graduated M.A. from a Scottish University.


He married (1) Rebekah Russell (d. in or before 1713) at St Katharine's by the Tower in 1709. They had one son, Richard, who died before 1721. He married (2) Lettice Barrett (c. 1687–1762) and had a son and two daughters: Thomas, Sussannah and Lettice who were all in their minorities in 1721. Sussannah married Henry Girle in 1747 and had one son, Reverend Samuel Girle (1757–1813), a Presbyterian/Unitarian minister.


Samuel Rosewell was chosen about 1701 as assistant to William Harris (c. 1675–1740) at Poor Jewry Presbyterian church and continued there until invited in 1705 to assist John Howe (1630–1705) at the Silver Street meeting, Cheapside. He continued after Howe's death as assistant to Howe's successor, John Spademan. He was ordained by Spademan on 2 August 1705 before a large congregation. At this time he lectured at the Old Jewry on Sunday evenings alternatively with Benjamin Grosvenor. He was the sole lecturer when the lecture was moved to Founder's Hall, Lothbury, in 1713. He resigned his preferment from ill health in October 1719 and moved to Mare Street, Hackney.


Samuel was very popular especially with the younger congregations. He was described as follows:
'Mr. Rosewell was a minister of considerable abilities, a serious preacher, and for some years very much followed. His performances were accurate, judicious, and lively; fitted to inform and instruct the mind, as well as to engage the affections; and to promote a serious attention to the concerns of religion. And the fruit of his ministry was very considerable both in his own congregation, and at a lecture which he preached for a considerable number of years to young persons. In the several relations of private life, as a son, a husband, a father, and a friend, he was an ornament to his character, and discovered the prevailing influence of religious principles.'
He was the author of more than twenty works, the majority being sermons on practical and devotional subjects, but including:
Seasonable Instructions for the Afflicted, London, 1711.
The Protestant Dissenters' Hopes from the present Government freely declared, London, 1716.
The Life and Death of Mr. T. Rosewell, London, 1718. This is generally prefixed to the account of the trial of the latter.
He was responsible for completing St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians in Matthew Henry's biblical 'Commentary' after Henry's death.


A portrait engraved by Van den Bergh is printed in the May 1794 issue of the Protestant Dissenters' Magazine. Another was engraved in 1707 by John Faber (1660–1721) after John Wollaston (c. 1672–1749), portrait painter. A print by J Lawrence is located at the British Museum.


Samuel died at Hackney, after a tedious illness, on 7 April 1722. His demeanor on his deathbed excited the admiration of his friend Isaac Watts. He was buried in Bunhill Fields, London, near his father's grave. The funeral sermon was preached by Jeremiah Smith.
His grave was situated between the grave of Thomas Rosewell and the obelisk for Daniel Defoe, which are both still there. However, the area was bombed during World War II and the intervening graves destroyed. The area has been paved over.
The headstone was inscribed as follows:
In Memory of
Minister of the Gospel,
Whose zeal and labour of God,
Whose charity and love of men,
Whose courage and patience under long and acute pains,
And whose joyful hope and triumph in death,
Gave the world a glorious example of Christianity.
Born 1679. Died in the year 1722, aged 42.


Samuel Rosewell wrote his will at Hackney on 28 February 1721. Probate was granted at London on 2 May 1722. His wife, mother, sisters, and children were all named as beneficiaries. In a note to his will he expressed his regret that, due to his long and expensive illness, he could not do more for his family and friends.
Heavenly treasures in earthen vessels : a funeral sermon occasioned by the death of the late Reverend Mr. Samuel Rosewell, M.A., who departed this life on the 7th of April, 1722, preached the 22d of the same month (1722) by Jeremiah Smith

Letters of Eminent Men (1832) (Letter by Samuel Rosewell) - page 202

A sermon preach'd to the Societies for Reformation of Manners, at Salters-Hall, on Monday June 29, 1719 - Rosewell, Samuel, 1679-1722

The Protestant dissenters hopes from the present government freely declar'd ... in three papers - Rosewell, Samuel, 1679-1722

The Trial of Thomas Rosewell from Cobbett's complete collection of state trials and proceedings for high ...By Thomas Bayly Howell, Thomas Jones Howell, William Cobbett, David Jardine

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