Henry Sampson

Henry Sampson was one of a number of ejected ministers who qualified as a doctor in the Netherlands; he had a successful practice in London treating nonconformist ministers.

His stepbrother was Nehemiah Grew, another doctor and secretary of the Royal Society. Sampson published a series of papers on morbid anatomy but his chief interest was producing a history of Puritanism nonconformity where he presented nonconformists as ‘a Considerable, an injured and misjudged people’. With this background it is hardly surprising that he came to live in Clapham at the end of the seventeenth century.

He must have known his neighbour Arthur Shallett through their work on the Common Fund, created to support the training of nonconformist ministers. He died a fairly rich man, worth over £8000, and his will contains much of interest. He left his wife one of his old bibles with the instruction that ‘she should read therein all the days of her life, leaving it to some one of my kindred with the like charge.’ He had a remarkable collection of English and Hebrew bibles including a copy of William Tindall’s translation and the Bishops’ Bible printed in Geneva. He also had a collection of Books of Common Prayer, including two from Edward’s reign which his will described as ‘one commonly called the first in folio that in 4° which is the second in that reign but this is translated into French and is therefore the greater rarity’. These were all left to his brother.