BYFIELD, ADONIRAM: Puritan and Presbyterian; b. probably at Chester, before 1615, the son of Nicholas Byfield; d. in London 1660. He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and chosen chaplain to a regiment of Parliament's army in 1642. In 1643 he was appointed one of the two scribes of the Westminster Assembly, but was not a member of that body. The manuscript minutes (edited by Mitchel and Struthers, 1874), now in the Williams Library, University Hall, Gordon Square, London, are in his handwriting. He also edited, by authority of Parliament, the various papers in the controversy between the Westminster Assembly and the Dissenting Brethren, published London, 1648, including Reasons Presented by the Dissenting Brethren against Certain Propositions concerning Presbyterian Government, The Answer of Assemby of Divines, Papers for Accumulation, and The Papers and Answers of the Dissenting Brethren and the Committee of the Assembly of Divines. He was rector of Fulham in Middlesex (1644?) and vicar of Fulham (1645?-1657), subsequently rector of Collingbourn-Ducis in Wiltshire.
BYFIELD, NICHOLAS: Puritan and Presbyterian, b. in Warwickshire in 1579; d. at Isleworth (2 m. s. of Brentford), Middlesex, Sept. 8, 1622. He was educated at Exeter College, Oxford; was for seven years pastor of St. Peter's Church at Chester, when (1615) he became vicar of Isleworth in Middlesex, where he remained until his death. William Gouge describes him as "a man of a profound judgment, strong memory, sharp wit, quick invention, and unwearied industry." His works were numerous, and greatly esteemed. His Marrow of the Oracles of God (London, 1620), containing six treatises previously published apart, reached an eleventh edition in 1640. The Principles, or, the Pattern of Wholesome Words, dedicated in 1618, reached a seventh edition in 1665, and is a valuable compend of divinity. His expository sermons on the Epistle to the Colossians were published 1615, and several series on the First Epistle of Peter at various times, finally collected and enlarged in a Commentary upon the Whole First Epistle of St. Peter (1637). The Rule of Faith, or an Exposition of the Apostles' Creed was issued by his son Adoniram, after his death (1626), and is an able and instructive work. He must be numbered among the Presbyterian fathers in England.
BYROM, JOHN: Author of "Christians awake, salute the happy morn," a Christmas hymn in almost universal use in England; b. at Kersall Cell, Broughton, near Manchester, Feb. 29, 1692; d. there Sept. 26, 1763. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, 1708 (B.A., 1712; M.A., 1715), and became fellow, 1714; contributed to the Spectator; invented a system of shorthand and taught it with success; became F.R.S., 1724; succeeded to the family estate at Kersall, 1740, and spent his later years there. He was a mystic and a Jacobite; took deep interest in religious speculations, and knew most of the celebrities of his time; he wrote some of the best epigrams in the language. His Poems, written in easy, colloquial style for his own and his friends' amusement, were printed posthumously (2 vols., Manchester, 1773; again, with life and notes, London, 1814); the Chetham Society of Manchester has published his Private Journal and Literary Remains, ed. R. Parkinson (2 vols., 1854-1857), and the Poems, ed. A. W. Ward (2 vols., 1894-1895).
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