Smyth, John

Smyth or Smith, John,

c.1554–1612, English nonconformist clergyman and early believer in adult baptism. Influenced by the Brownists, he separated from the Church of England and became (1606) minister of an independent congregation at Gainsborough. Shortly thereafter he and his followers went to Holland to escape persecution. There, under Mennonite influence, he became convinced that the Scriptures did not authorize infant baptism; he baptized himself (for which he was called se-baptist, or self-baptizer) and some of his followers. Later he was excommunicated by his followers. He attempted to join the Mennonite church, was refused admission and died soon after.

Bibliography

See biography in Smyth's works (ed. by W. T. Whitley, 1915); W. H. Burgess, John Smith the Se-Baptist (1911).

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Pictured left to right going round the circle are: Sam Smyth, John Hancocks, Roy Pritchard, and James DunnAbove, members of the Birmingham City Football team follow a horse which pulls a machine designed to flatten the lawn a few days before their FA Cup Final in against West Bromwich Albion in 1931 - they lost 2-1; right, England and Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Billy Wright pictured at home with his landlady Mrs Colley in 1950Far left, Aston Villa goalkeeper Biddlestone scrambles a save in a controversial friendly match against Germany, played in Berlin in 1938.
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