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William Sclater (1575 - 1627), Church of England clergyman

William was baptised at Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire on 25th October 1575. He was the son of the rector, Anthony Sclater (1519/20 - 1620) and his wife Margaret Loughborowe. William went to Eton College and in 1593 was admitted to King's College, Cambridge. Three years later he became a fellow and in 1598 graduated with a BA and in 1601 proceeded MA.

His career was subsequently as follows:

  • 1601 Sclater started preaching in Walsall, Staffordshire. He controversially refused to wear the surplice
  • 1604 presented to the vicarage of Pitminster, near Taunton, Somerset
  • 1606, even though serving as rural dean, he was still in trouble for nonconformity
  • 1608 he proceeded BD
  • 1609 was urging other moderate puritans to conform
  • 1611 published the sermon The Key to the Key of Scripture
  • 1612 published the sermon The Ministers' Portion
  • 1617 proceeded to DD
  • 1619 made chaplain and prebendary of Bath and Wells by Bishop Arthur Lake
  • 1619 presented with the living of Lympsham, Somerset by Lord Poulett (he also retained Pitminster, which he left in the care of a curate)
  • 1623 published the sermon The Question of Tithes

Sclater was a staunch Calvinist and was highly esteemed by leading west-country puritans such as Sir John Horner and Sir John Bampfield. In 1621 Richard Barnard listed Sclater as one of his thirty-four godly ministers to whom he dedicated his clerical manual, The Faithful Shepherd.

In his personal life: He married his first wife (name unknown) in 1609 and through this marriage he had two sons and five daughters. In the 1620s he married his second wife, Marie or Mary, from Mells, Somerset and the couple had one daughter. His eldest son, William, was responsible for postumously editing many of his works. Sclater died in Pitminster in 1627.