NATHANIEL SPINCKES (1653-1727)– Son of a Rector of Castor

A famous Non-Juring Priest.


Nathaniel Spinckes was born in 1653 and baptised at the Church of St Kyneburgha of Castor, where his father, Edmund Spinckes was the Rector Nathaniel Spinckes was himself later to be persecuted for his loyalty to the Stuart King , James II, King of England.

Nathaniel Spinckes was educated locally and then at Trinity and Jesus Colleges Cambridge. He was ordained priest in 1678, and became chaplain to the first Duke of Lauderdale (who died in 1682). Nathaniel Spinckes then became Curate and Lecturer at St Stephen’s Church Walbrook (1682-1685), and then Rector of Peakirk-cum-Glinton in the Soke of Peterborough, and in 1687 he bacame a Prebendary and Rector of St Martin’s Church Salisbury. After King James II fled, Nathaniel Spinckes refused to take the oath of allegiance to King William of Orange and his wife Mary (daughter of King James II) and he was deprived in 1690.  Bishops and Priests who refused to take the oath of allegiance to King William of Orange and his successors, out of loyalty to the Stuarts, or because having sworn loyalty to the Stuarts felt they could not renege were known as “Non-jurors”.

In 1713, Nathaniel Spinckes was consecrated Bishop by George Hickes, (a non-juring Bishop), but he took no title. Many of the non-jurors wanted to return to the use of the First Prayer Book of Edward VI of 1549, but Nathaniel Spinckes was happy to carry on using the 1662 Prayer Book. Nathaniel Spinckes was a man of considerable learning, proficient in Greek, Latin, Anglo-Saxon and French, with some knowledge of Oriental languages. He was much revered for his personal sanctity. He wrote five treatises on the Roman controversy, one against French prophets and a number of other treatises, but he is chiefly remembered for his sermons and devotional works, which include A Sick Man Visited(1712) and a collection of prayers and meditations from Lancelot Andrewes, William Laud, Thomas ken and others entitled “The True Church of England Man’s Companion to the Closet with a preface by Nathaniel Spinckes (1721) known as “Devotions’Spinckes”.


(This information on Nathaniel Spinckes mostly taken from the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church 1957).