Samuel Bolton

Samuel Bolton (1606 – 15 October 1654) was an English clergyman and scholar, a member of the Westminster Assembly and Master of Christ's College, Cambridge.

Samuel Bolton
Samuel Bolton.jpg
Samuel Bolton
Died15 October 1654(1654-10-15) (aged 47–48)
OccupationEnglish clergyman and scholar


Samuel Bolton was the son of William Bolton, of Lancashire.[1] He was born in London in 1606, and educated at Christ's College, Cambridge.[2] In 1643 he was chosen one of the Westminster assembly of divines. He was successively minister of St. Martin's, Ludgate Street, of St. Saviour's, Southwark, and of St. Andrew's, Holborn.[3]

He was appointed, on the death of Thomas Bainbrigg in 1646, master of Christ's College, Cambridge, and served as Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University in 1651. He has been identified with the Samuel Bolton who, in 1649, attended Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland on the scaffold.[4] He died, after a long illness, on 15 October 1654. Edmund Calamy preached his funeral sermon.[3]

Bolton's publication called, The Sinfulness of Sin, was originally delivered as a sermon to the House of Commons of England on a solemn day of humiliation on 25 March 1646.


  • The law sends us to the gospel that we may be justified; and the gospel sends us to the law again to inquire what is our duty as those who are justified....The law sends us to the gospel for our justification; the gospel sends us to the law to frame our way of life.[5]


His books include:

  • A Tossed Ship making for a Safe Harbour; or a Word in Season to a Sinking Kingdom (1644)
  • The True Bounds of Christian Freedom (1645)
  • A Vindication of the Rights of the Law and the Liberties of Grace (1646)
  • The Arraignment of Error (1646)
  • The Sinfulnesse of Sin (1646)
  • The Guard of the Tree of Life (1647)
  • The Wedding Garment
  • Posthumously, The Dead Saint speaking to Saints and Sinners, (with a portrait prefixed).[3]


He has been incorrectly identified both as a son and a brother of Robert Bolton (1572–1631);[3] Robert Bolton's son Samuel was a clergyman who died in 1668.[6]


  1. ^ "Bolton, Samuel (BLTN625S)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ John Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Hardy, iii. 690, 607.
  3. ^ a b c d "Bolton, Samuel" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  4. ^ Whitelocke, Mem. p. 387.
  5. ^ Samuel Bolton, The True Bounds of Christian Freedom (Edinburgh, Banner of Truth Trust, reprint, 1964)
  6. ^ "Bolton, Robert (1572-1631)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.


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Academic offices
Preceded by Master of Christ's College, Cambridge
Succeeded by