Is your surname Ward?

Research the Ward family

Samuel Ward's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Samuel Ward

Birthplace: Ipswich, Suffolk, England
Death: Died
Place of Burial: Ipswich, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. John Ward and Susan Rogers
Husband of Deborah Ward
Father of Reverend Nathaniel Ward and Abigail Wood
Brother of Mary Waite; Abigail Ashborne; Rev. John Ward and Rev. Nathaniel Ward

Occupation: Minister at St. Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich
Managed by: Nancy D. Coon
Last Updated:

About Samuel Ward

Samuel Ward (1577–1640) was an English Puritan minister of Ipswich.


He was born in Suffolk, son of John Ward, minister of Haverhill, by his wife Susan. Nathaniel Ward was his younger brother. Another brother, John, was rector of St. Clement's, Ipswich. Samuel was admitted a scholar of St. John's College, Cambridge, on the Lady Margaret's foundation, on the nomination of Lord Burghley, 6 November 1594. He graduated B.A. in 1596-7, was appointed one of the first fellows of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in 1599, and commenced M.A. in 1600. Having finished his studies at the university, he became lecturer at Haverhill, where he was a successful evangelical and became the 'spiritual father' of Samuel Fairclough

On 1 November 1603 he was elected by the corporation of Ipswich to the office of town preacher, and he occupied the pulpit of St. Mary-le-Tower T with little intermission, for about thirty years. In 1604 he vacated his fellowship at Sidney College by his marriage with Deborah Bolton, widow, of Isleham, Cambridgeshire, and in 1607 he proceeded to the degree of B.D. He was one of the preachers at St Paul's Cross, London, in 1616.

In 1621 he designed an engraving, the Double Deliverance, with an anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish message, showing the Spanish Armada and Gunpowder Plot. Count Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador in London, represented it as an insult to his royal master. On one side was to be seen the wreck of the armada, driven in wild confusion by the storm; on the other side was the detection of the plot; and in the centre the pope and the cardinals appeared in consultation with the king of Spain and the devil.

Ward, whose name was engraved upon the print as the designer, was sent for and examined by the privy council, and was committed to prison. After a brief detention he was permitted to return to Ipswich, and he subsequently confined his talents as a designer to the ornamentation of the title-pages of his published sermons.

In 1622 Bishop Samuel Harsnett prosecuted Ward for nonconformity in the consistory court of Norwich. Ward appealed to the king, who referred the articles exhibited against him to the examination of Lord-keeper John Williams. Williams decided that Ward, though not altogether blameless, was a man easily to be won by fair dealing, and he persuaded the bishop to accept Ward's submission and not to remove him from the lectureship. He was accordingly released from the prosecution; but the king wrote to the Ipswich council to deter them. In 1624 Ward and Yates, another Ipswich clergyman, complained to a committee of the House of Commons of the Arminian tenets broached in A New Gag for an Old Goose by Richard Montagu. The session was drawing to a close, and the commons referred their complaint to the archbishop of Canterbury.

Ward subsequently incurred the displeasure of Archbishop William Laud. On 2 November 1635 he was censured in the high commission at Lambeth for preaching against bowing at the name of Jesus and against the Book of Sports on the Lord's day; and for saying that religion and the gospel were in imminent danger. He was suspended from his ministry, enjoined to make a public submission and recantation, condemned in costs of suit, and committed to prison. His fellow-townsmen declined to ask the bishop of Norwich to appoint another preacher, as they hoped to have Ward reappointed in despite of all censures.

Having at length obtained his release, Ward retired to Holland, where he first became a member of William Bridge's church at Rotterdam, and afterwards his colleague in the pastoral work. Ward did not remain long in Holland, for in April 1638 he purchased the house which had been provided for him by the town of Ipswich in 1610. He died in March 1640, and was buried on the 8th of that month in the church of St. Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich.

A school is named in his honour in his home town of Haverhill.


view all

Samuel Ward's Timeline

Ipswich, Suffolk, England
March 8, 1640
Age 63
September 23, 1924
Age 63
October 2, 1925
Age 63
September 29, 1954
Age 63
Ipswich, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom