GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons
NameJohn Beale
DenominationChurch of England
Livedb. ca. 1609-04-17 - d. ca. 1683-04-16 (old)
Linked Manuscripts
Linked SermonsMr Beale for March 4 1631 -- preacher? (autograph: no)
Linked Reports
Associated PlacesYardley -- HomeSock Dennis -- ParishStretton Grandison -- ParishYeovil -- ParishEton College -- Place of StudyKing's College -- Place of StudyKing's School -- Place of StudyRoyal Society of London -- Post
Source of DataCatherine Evans
Biographical Sources ConsultedODNB (Article: 1802)
Other NoteBeale was a clergyman, scientist and Fellow of the Royal Society. His precise date of birth is unknown, but he was baptized on 17 April 1608. He contributed to John Evelyn's "Sylva" and wrote on orchards and cider. He was born in Yardly, Herefordshire, the son of Thomas Beale, a lawyer. He was educated at King's School and Eton before going to King's College, Cambridge in 1629. He claimed to have a photographic memory and read at a young age Erasmus, Melanchthon, Francis Bacon, Johannes Magirus and Zacharias Ursinus. He also studied agriculture and developed a belief in prophetic dreams. His uncles, Sir William and Robert Pye, introduced him at court, and he was a favourite of Buckingham. He also claimed to have been offered jobs by Laud and Charles I, which he turned down. He became a fellow of King's College in 1632 and graduated BA in 1633. Between 1636 and 1638 he travelled in Europe with his cousin Robert Pye and began collecting rare books and manuscripts. He was given the living of Sock Dennis, Somerset in 1638, although this included only a single home. He then suffered some difficult years, resigning from his fellowship in 1640 as his scientific views were unpopular. He was sequestered during the Civil War and married Jane Mackworth in 1644. They would have 2 sons and 3 daughters. They had to flee to a parliamentary camp in Shrewsbury in 1645. He would become vicar of Stretton Grandison, Herefordshire in the early 1650s, and he also became a member of the Herefordshire committee for ejecting ministers. During these years he investigated agriculture, publishing "A Treatise on Fruit Trees" (1653). He also began corresponding with Samuel Hartlib and later became an active member of the Hartlib circle, corresponding with John Evelyn, Henry Oldenburg, and Robert Boyle. His fortunes improved and he was appointed as rector at Yeovil, Somerset and Sock Dennis again, given a fellowship of the Royal Society, and made chaplain-extraordinary to Charles II. He was buried in Yeovil on 16 April 1683.
GEMMS record createdOctober 12, 2019
GEMMS record last editedMarch 23, 2020