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BUCKINGHAM HOUSE, COLLEGE-HILL.
Upon his retiring into the country, Dr. Beverley's congregation at Cutlers’-Hall dispersed into other Societies.
Buckingham-House, College-Hill, so called from its having been anciently the city residence of the Duke of Buckingham. In the reign of Charles II. a part of this noble mansion was appropriated to the use of the Nonconformists. A Presbyterian congregation met here for some years, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Richard Mayo, the ejected minister of Kingston-upon-Thames. Soon after the Revolution he quitted this place, and removed to a new meeting-house, near Salters'-Hall, Cannon-street. Under that article we have given a copious account of this church, and its several ministers.
Mahomet's Times to that of Christ's Kingdom, must needs be in its Succession. 1097.--33. A further Discovery upon the Line of Time. 1697,34. A Sermon of Mr. Benjamin. Perkins's, at the Funeral of Mrs. Martha Robient, who died at Colchester, September 15, 1700, enlarged into a Discourse on the excellent Life, and glorious Death of a Christian, 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8.
THREE CRANES, THAMES-STREET.
1 he meeting-house now under consideration, is situated in Fruiterers'-alley, the west end of which falls into the lower part of Queen-street, Cheapside ; but it is better known by the name of the Three Cranes. The old place being de- . stroyed by fire, the present meeting-house was erected on the site, in the year 1739, Mr. John Hill being then pastor. The measurement of the building between the walls on the inside, is fifty-one feet by thirty-five, and the expence of erecting it was one thousand and twenty-two pounds. It contains three large galleries, and was fitted up in a neat and convenient manner ; but since it has been in the hands of the present occupier, the disposition of the seats has been altered, and some of the pews removed to make way for a large one, according to the taste of the Methodists. The meeting-house is held upon'a lease from the Merchant Taylors' Company, whose property it is.
With respect to the origin of the old Independent church, which met here considerably more than a century, it is said to have been collected in the reign of Charles the Second, by the famous Mr. Thomas Vincent, who preached in the city during all the time of the plague, and seenis to have been the founder of several Dissenting churches. He died in 1678, but we are not sufficiently acquainted with the early history of this Society, to state with precision who was his successor. At the time of the Revolution, in 1688, Mr. Thomas Gouge, whose praises are celebrated by Dr. Watts, was the pastor of this church, and from that period downwards, we have been enabled to collect sufficient materials to give the reader a tolerable idea of the several changes it has undergone. The convulsions that took place in the
THREE CRANES, THAMES-STREET.--- Independent, Extinct.
church about half a century ago, in consequence of some Sandemaņian notions having been embraced by several members of the Society, and amongst others, by Mr. Pike, the pastor, sowed the seeds of its dissolution. The progress of these opinions occasioned a very large breach, in the year 1760, when nearly half the church went off to Little St. Helen's, and invited Mr. Barber from Basingstoke, to be their pastor. Down to the year 1765, when Mr. Pike quitted this connexion, the church adhered strictly to the old Independent discipline; but after that time, it seems to have assumed a different form, and the people conducted public worship amongst themselves, till their number was so far reduced, that the Society was obliged finally to dissolve, This event took place, we believe, early in the year 1798. The lease of the meeting-house had expired some years before, and the people held the place latterly as tenants at will. Not long after their quitting it, a lease of the meetinghouse was taken by a congregation of Calvinistic Methodists, under the care of Mr. Thomas Davies, who is the present possessor,
The pastors of the old Independent church from the time of the Revolution, till it assumed a new form after the departure of Mr. Pike, were as follows ;
As Pastors. As Assistants. ·
Thomas Gouge,. ..
16. . 17001 - 1 Thomas Ridgley, D.D., ... 11700 1734 1695 1500 John Hurrion, Jun. ....
-- 17.. 1731 Samuel Parsons, a.
1732 1735 John Hill, . . . . . . . . (1735 1746 Samuel Pike, . . . . . . : 1747 1765
THREE CRANES, THAMES-STREET.-Independent, Extinct.
Thomas GOUGE.—This excellent Divine, and popular preacher, has often been confounded with another minister of both his names, who was ejected from the living of St. Sepulchre, and whose funeral sermon was preached, in 1681, by Dr. Tillotson. But the person of whom we speak was posterior in point of time, nor is it certain that he was of the same family. His father, the Rev. Robert Gouge, a Divine of the Independent persuasion, was several years minister of Ipswich, in Suffolk, till silenced by the Act of Uniformity. He was afterwards pastor of a congregational church at Coggeshall, in Essex, where he finished his course, far advanced in life, having previously buried his son.
Mr. Thomas Gouge was born at Ipswich, the place of his father's residence, a little before the Restoration ; but the exact year is uncertain. In him, says Mr. Nesbitt, heaven gave an early confutation of that opprobrious, but too common reflection, that the children of ministers, of all others, seldom prove religious. With Obadiah of old, he could say, Thy servant feared the Lord from my youth. Having become acquainted with the scriptures from his childhood, his knowledge of Divine things matured with his years, and his impressions of religion were lasting. His father intending him for the ministry, gave him a suitable education, first in his own country, and afterwards in Holland, which being a safe retreat for the Nonconformists, proved to them, also, an advantageous seat of learning. In that country our Divine went through a complete course of studies for the ministry, and at an early age, commenced preacher.
Before he was twenty-two years old, Mr. Gouge was fixed in the pastoral office at Amsterdam. There, his ministerial labours were very great; but he went through the several parts of his work with great diligence and cheerfulness, having but very rarely any assistance. About the time of the Revolution, he returned to England, and was chosen
THREE CRANES, THAMES-STREET.-Independent, Extinct.
pastor of an Independent congregation, meeting at the Three Cranes, near Thames-street, London. After a few years he was elected into the Merchants’ Lecture, upon a Tuesday morning, at Pinners'-Hall. There, as well as at his own place, he preached with great popularity, to a crouded audience; and in point of reputation, ranked with. the most considerable preachers of his age. For several years Mr. Gouge proceeded in his work with much comfort and usefulness; but in the latter part of his life, met with some uneasiness in his church, which greatly sunk his spirits, and diminished his usefulness. The first storm that broke in upon the Society, was occasioned by Mr. Joseph Jacob, who preached a weekly lecture at the Three Cranes; and, being a man of a bold, daring spirit, and delighting to find fault with his betters, offence was soon taken by some of Mr. Gouge's people, who obliged Mr. Jacob to leave the place. This affair, which happened in 1697, occasioned a considerable stir in Mr. Gouge's church. In the following year, Mr. Gouge himself had some difference with his people, respecting a person proposed for communion with his church; and this happening about the time that Mr. Jacob quitted his lecture, added fresh fuel to the fire. The differ= ence produced by this, unhappy affair, occasioned several persons to withdraw; and among others, the noted Mr. Eben. Tull,*
The vexations produced by the different trials he niet with, connected with unremitted application to study, and , to the various duties of the pastoral, office, tended in a very considerable degree to break the health of Mr. Gouge, and to bring upon him that train of disorders, which consumed his life before, it had well passed its meridian. His light burnt clear, but fast; and though his afflicted friends were led sometimes fondly to imagine a recovery from his weak
*MS. penes, me..