Arthur Hildersham (1563–1632) was an influential Puritan preacher in late Elizabethan and early Stuart England. Though little known today (his works have not been reprinted in modern times), his preaching was quite popular. He gave his hearers solid, doctrinal sermons that perhaps did not move the emotions as much as more gifted speakers but fed their souls. His published sermons include 108 messages on John 4. He also suffered for his Reformed convictions, first when his Roman Catholic parents disinherited him, and then later when the Church of England’s bishops had him suspended from ministry and imprisoned. Reformation Heritage Books recently published a biography of Hildersham, and its author, Dr. Lesley Rowe had an opportunity to give an address at Hildersham’s parish in England.
Dr. Rowe shares, “Over 100 people attended the lecture in St Helen’s Church, Ashby-de-la-Zouch (Hildersham’s church), which was a great encouragement. Some had travelled from as far afield as Rochdale, London, and Cambridge to be present, but most of the people came from the Midlands, with a good number from Ashby itself. The current vicar of Ashby, Brian Robertson, introduced the evening by reading Hildersham’s prayer of 1625, which he prayed before his lectures in 1625, and by reading Psalm 51:1–7, on which Hildersham had delivered 152 lectures. I then spoke for about 40 minutes, describing Hildersham’s life and ministry in Ashby and explaining why he was so loved and revered in the town. Afterwards I took questions. At the end, I signed and sold nearly 40 copies of the book. Many people expressed their appreciation, and also said they had not realised what an important figure Hildersham was.”