Rev. John Andrews (1615 fl.) was an English poet and cleric.
Andrews was the author of a striking and too long neglected poem called the Anatomie of Basenesse (1615), which was reprinted in the Miscellanies of the Fuller Worthies' Library (vol. ii.). The Anatomie was published with only the initials I.A. in the epistle dedicatory to Sir Robert Sydney, but this epistle guides to the authorship.
Apologising for his dedication, the writer says, among other things, that he prints not "vaine-gloriously," or he would have "subscribed his name," and that he forbore to have his name published "out of some respects." The "some respects" probably refer to his being a minister of the Gospel; he seems to have held that his satire was too drastic and vehement for a clergyman, and might lay him open to misconstruction.
Anthony à Wood in his Athenæ,’ and his editor Dr. Bliss, filled in the initials thus — "I[ohn] A[ndrews]" — and wrote of him: "John Andrews, a Somersetshire man born, was entered a student in Trinity College 1601, aged 18, took degree in arts [viz. M.A., Fasti Oxon.], left the university, became a painfull preacher of God's word, and a publisher of" certain books. … "When he died, or where he was buried, I know not."
According to Dr. Bliss he "seems to have been the same person with John Andrews, minister and preacher of the word of God at Barrick [Beswick] Bassett, in the county of Wilts, who was the author of Christ's Cross; or the most comfortable Doctrine of Christ crucified, and joyful Tidings of his Passion. Oxon. 1614, qu. in two parts. To this writer we may ascribe a very rare poetical work entitled the Anatomie of Basenesse.” Sir Richard Hoare, the historian of Wiltshire, makes no mention of Andrews. It would therefore appear that he was curate or assistant or lecturer rather than incumbent.
All the religious books of John Andrews have interspersed verses of the same stamp as those to be found in the Anatomie of Basenesse. They include: 1. ‘Andrewes' Golden Chaine to linke the penitent sinner unto Almighty God’ (1645). 2. ‘Brazen Serpent … at Paules Crosse’ (1621). 3. ‘Converted Man's New Birth’ (1629). 4. ‘Andrewes' Repentance, sounding alarum to returne from his sinne unto Almighty God, declaring his repentance. Published by John Andrewes, minister of the Word of God in the county of Wilts’ (1623). 5. ‘A Golden Trumpet sounding an Alarum to Judgement,’ by ‘John Andrewes, minister and preacher of God's Word,’ of which the twenty-ninth impression appeared in 1648. 6. ‘A Celestiall Looking-Glasse’ by ‘John Andrewes, preacher of God's Word’ (1639). 7. ‘Andrewes' Caveat to win Sinners … newly published by John Andrewes, preacher of God's Word’ (1655).
Of the ‘Anatomie of Basenesse’ only the solitary exemplar in the Bodleian is known. It is a vivid poem, and its terse aphoristic sayings linger in the memory. The ‘Feast of the Envious’ will still bear quotation. It contains these lines:—
Nor can the hand of reconciling Death
Free men from this injurious monster's sting,
Which through the bowels of the Earth doth pierce,
And in the quiet vault appeares more fierce
Than Death — the grave's sterne tyrannising king.
- The Anatomie of Basenesse as "I.A."). London: Richard Redmer, 1615.
- also published in Miscellanies of the Fuller Worthies Library: Volume II (edited by Alexander Balloch Grosart). Blackburn, UK: privately printed, 1871.
- The Brazen Serpent; or, The copie of a sermon preached at Pauls Crosse. London: George Purslowe, for Thomas Thorp, 1621.
- Andrewes' Repentance, sounding alarum to returne from his sinne unto Almighty God, declaring his repentance. 1623.
- A Celestiall Looking-Glasse. 1639.
- Andrewes' Golden Chaine: To linke the penitent sinner unto Almighty God. 1645.
- A Golden Trumpet sounding an Alarum to Judgement. 1648.
- Andrewes' Caveat to win Sinners. 1655.
- The Converted Man's New Birth: Describing the direct way to got to heaven, wherein all men may clearly see whether they sahll be saved or damned. London: T. Vere & J. Wright, [1660?]
- Dwelling with God, the Interest and Duty of Believers. London: T.M., for James Allestry, 1670.
Grosart, Alexander Balloch (1885) "Andrews, John (17th cent.)" in Stephen, Leslie Dictionary of National Biography 1 London: Smith, Elder, pp. 407-408 . Wikisource, Web, July 3, 2016.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, the Dictionary of National Biography (edited by Leslie Stephen). London: Smith, Elder, 1885-1900. Original article is at: Andrews, John (17th cent.)