January 2, 2015

A Brief Biographical Sketch of Lewis Stuckley (c.1621–1687)

Since there isn't any biographical information about Lewis Stuckley available on the Internet, I thought I would fill that gap with information by Beeke and Pederson: 
Born about 1621, Lewis Stuckley was a descendent of an honorable family in Devonshire. The family estate was quite large; thirteen manors could be seen from its gatehouse. One of Stuckley's ancenstors, Lewis Stuckley of Afferton, was standard-bearer to Queen Elizabeth. Sir Thomas Stuckley, the English adventurer, was his brother.

In 1646, the standing committee of Devon appointed Stuckley to the rectory of Newton Ferrers, near Plymouth. It is uncertain whether he accepted it, for soon afterward he was appointed to the living of Great Torrington. From Great Torrington, Stuckley moved to Exeter, where he first preached in the cathedral, then formed his own Congregational church in 1650.

In 1658, Thomas Mall, Stuckley's assistant in Exeter, anonymously published A True Account Of What was done by a Church of Christ in Exon (whereof Mr. Lewis Stuckley is Pastor) the eighth day of March, 1657, when two members thereof were Excommunicated. In response, Toby Alleine, the brother of Joseph Alleine and husband of one of the excommunicated members, wrote Truths  Manifest (1658). Stuckley responded with Manifest Truth (1658), after which Alleine reprinted his former treatise with added notations as Truth Manifest Revived (1659). Susanna Parr, the other woman who was excommunicated, printed her own defense in Susanna's Apology against the Elders (1659).

Stuckely was forced to quit his work at the cathedral after the Restoration of Charles Stuart. He was silenced with the rest of his nonconforming brothers on Saint Bartholomew's Day, 1662. Had Stuckley conformed, he could have had an illustrious state career, since he was a kinsman of George Monk, duke of Albemarle, and an influential supporter of the king. But Stuckley refused the preferment and chose instead to busy himself with preaching in private.

Stuckley married Susanna Dennis in 1672; they had five children. Some years later, the Stuckleys moved to Bideford. Stuckley became very ill in the summer of 1687 and died on July 21.
Joel R. Beeke and Randall J. Pederson, Meet the Puritans: With a Guide to Modern Reprints (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2006), 565–566.

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