- Francis J. Bremer
Davenport, John ( April 1597–15 March 1670), Congregational Puritan clergyman, was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England, the son of Henry Davenport, a merchant in that town, and Winifred Barneby. He matriculated at Merton College, Oxford, in 1613, having shortly before that time experienced a religious conversion. After two years he transferred to Magdalen, Oxford, but left the university before obtaining his degree in order to accept a chaplaincy at Hilton Castle, Durham. In 1619 he became curate at St. Lawrence Jewry in the city of London, where he became acquainted with the tenets of Puritanism. He earned a reputation as an inspiring preacher and was elected vicar of the London parish of St. Stephen’s, Coleman Street, in 1624. The influence of prominent Puritan nobility was needed to persuade the bishop of London to approve the choice of Davenport, which was obtained because at this point he conformed to the liturgical practices of the church, believing that differences over such matters must be subordinated to the need for a united Calvinist front against Catholicism and Arminianism. In 1625 he was awarded both the B.D. and M.A. degrees by Magdalen, Oxford. In that same year he garnered favorable notice for his efforts to minister to his congregation during a severe outbreak of the plague....