From OUR UNITARIAN HERITAGE, 1925 by Earl Morse Wilbur
Two years after Bidle's death this work
[i.e. A Twofold Catechism] was translated into Latin for
circulation on the Continent by Nathaniel Stuckey, a
lad of fifteen who had been a member of his congregation and was warmly
attached to him. The boy died at sixteen, and the next year his mother
undertook charge of the education of two of the children of Christopher
Crellius, a distinguished Polish Socinian in exile. This indicates
close relations between Bidle's followers and the Socinians on the
Boston : Beacon Press 1925, Note on p.
From SOCINIANISM IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND, 1951 by John McLachlan
Of the three Socinian groups reported to
be meeting in London in 1676, according to a Government informer, one
met 'at the house of Mrs. Stutsky, a Polander's wife'. She is said to be
entertaining 'young Crellius and his wife and other Socinians, and has
meetings there upon set dayes'.1
The regular meeting fourteen years after the death of John Bidle is a
fact to be noted, even though the report, typical of its kind, is
garbled and unreliable in regard to detail. Mrs. 'Stutsky' was indeed no
'Polander's wife' but an Englishwoman and, not improbably, the widow of Hugh
Stuckey, a merchant-tailor of St. Sepulchre, London, whose will was
proved in 1665.2 Her only connexion
with Poland was her friendship with Christopher Crell, son of the famous
Socinian theologian, John Crell, whose [i.e. Christopher's] eldest son
and daughter she adopted in 1668.3
A letter of Henry Hedworth, 5 June 1662, to which reference has
already been made,4 shows that
Christopher Crell, senior, visited England in that year. (Etc.)
In 1666 Christopher Crell was again in England. This time, if not
before, he made the acquaintance in London of Mrs. Alice Stuckey, an
influential member of John Bidle's old congregation, who only shortly
before had lost her son, Nathaniel, a promising youth who had been a pupil
of her old pastor. Luckily, an account of his father's travels written
years after by Samuel Crell, the
second son of Christopher, senior, has been preserved. From this we
learn that Mrs. Stuckey persuaded her Polish co-religionist, an exile and
in poverty, to bring over two of his four children to England where she
undertook to act as their foster-parent. Two years later (in 1668)
their father made the journey with his eldest son, also named Christopher,
and his daughter, and left them in Mrs. Stuckey's care. It is this
brother and sister who are meant by the reference to 'young Crellius and
his wife' in the report already quoted. The two young people were evidently educated at the good lady's expense, not perhaps without
experiencing the bounty also of that generous-hearted philanthropist,
Christopher Crell, junior, later studied medicine at Leyden,
graduating M.D. on 6 July 1682, and
being admitted Licentiate of the College of Physicians on 2 April
He had dedicated his thesis in 1682, amongst
others, 'to Mrs. Alice Stuckey, who brought him up ; Mr. Henry Hedworth;
and Mr. Thomas Firmin'. (Etc.) (pp. 288-90)
Of the active Socinian circle in London Mrs. Stuckey was
evidently a prominent member. In one of Hedworth's letters to Knowles
written in the autumn of 1662, shortly after the death of
Bidle, occur some veiled allusions to
contemporaries. Hedworth writes of the departure for Holland of his friend 'Mr.
Spinoste' (i.e. Christopher Crell, senior, who evidently adopted the
name Spinowski, though his son dropped it, as appears from the roll of
the Royal College of Physicians).
... Hedworth and the Stuckeys
must have been on terms of intimacy, and we may assume that Hedworth,
the foreign traveller, first introduced Christopher Crell, senior, to
Mrs. Stuckey in 1666. Behind this introduction and its consequences, the
adoption of Christopher junior and his sister by Mrs. Stuckey, may lie
the tragic circumstance of a double bereavement, for she appears to have
lost both husband and only son in the previous year, the year of the
Plague. Possibly both were victims of the same malady.
Nathaniel Stuckey died on 27 September 1665, at the early age of sixteen. According to Wood's information, he had been a pupil of Bidle in grammar and logic. He must also have been a very accomplished Latin scholar, since the year before he died he translated his master's Twofold Catechism into Latin, possibly with Thomas Firmin's encouragement, in order to give it wider currency abroad. The longer Catechism is dated 1664, the shorter has its own title page and is dated 1665. To these were added a sixteen-page essay on the passion and death of Christ and a Latin letter from Jeremiah Felbinger to Bidle, to which reference has already been made.
Oxford 1951, pp. 288-292
Bibliographic ( University of California http://melvyl.cdlib.org )
Author Biddle, John, 1615-1662.
Title Duae catecheses [microform] : quarum prior simpliciter vocari potest catechesis scripturalis posterior, brevis catechesis scripturalis pro parvulis ... / primum quidem a' Johanne Biddello ... ; in Latinam linguam translatŠ per Nathanaelem Stuckey, 1664.
Publisher [London : s.n.], 1664.
Description 214,  p.
Series Early English books, 1641-1700 ;808:16.
Note Reproduction of original in Cambridge University Library.
Errata p.