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Bacon, Thomas (1700?–26 May 1768), clergyman and musician, is traditionally said to have been born on the Isle of Man, but his earliest records come from Whitehaven, Cumberland County, England. His parents are unknown. His brother Anthony Bacon, M.P., may have been the same Anthony Bacon who graduated from Trinity College in 1739. Thomas Bacon was in charge of a coal depot in Dublin early in the 1730s. Since his son John Bacon was a lieutenant in the Independent Maryland Foot Company in 1754, he must have been at least eighteen then. Therefore, Thomas Bacon was probably married by 1735. Nothing is known of his wife except a statement by Rev. ...

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Bailey, Jacob (1731–26 July 1808), Anglican missionary and Loyalist, was born in Rowley, Massachusetts, the son of David Bailey and Mary Hodgkins, farmers. The details of Bailey’s early education are unknown, but by the age of ten he was able to read and write. Frustrated by the ignorance of the townspeople and a lack of books, he began to devote his leisure time to “scribbling” essays on various topics. One inadvertently came to the attention of the Reverend Jedediah Jewett, pastor of the First Congregational Society, who then offered to tutor Jacob gratis. Bailey matriculated at Harvard in 1751. He depended primarily upon charity for his fees and expenses but successfully graduated in 1755. Bailey then undertook a series of positions as a schoolmaster while preparing for the A.M. degree, which he received in 1758. In June of that year he was approved as a Congregational preacher. He failed to find a permanent parish and continued his precarious career as itinerant teacher and preacher until the end of 1759....

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Banister, John (1650– May 1692), clergyman and naturalist, was born at Twigworth in Gloucestershire, England, the son of John Bannister, a commoner, occupation unknown; his mother’s name is also unknown. He was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he received his B.A. in 1671 and M.A. in 1674. He stayed on at Magdalen as a clerk and then chaplain until 1678. At Oxford, Banister trained for the clergy and studied natural history, compiling the “Herbarium siccum Jo. Banister,” an unpublished herbal with 374 folios of pressed specimens from Oxfordshire, parts of which appeared in Robert Plot’s ...

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Blackstone, William (05 March 1595–26 May 1675), Anglican clergyman, horticulturist, and first European settler in what is now Rhode Island, was born in Whickham, Durham, England, the son of John Blackstone, a wealthy landowner and poultryman, and Agnes Hawley. At Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Blackstone (sometimes Blackston or Blaxton) took his B.A. in 1617 and his M.A. in 1621. He at once took orders in the Church of England....

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Boucher, Jonathan (12 March 1738–27 April 1804), priest of the Church of England, was born in Blencogo, parish of Bromfield, Cumberland County, England, the son of James Boucher, a yeoman, schoolmaster and manager of an ale house, and Ann Barnes. When he was only sixteen Boucher ran a school for boys at Raughton-head, and in 1755 he went to Workington in Cumberland to study with the Reverend Mr. Ritson. In 1756 Boucher became an usher, or tutor, in St. Bees’ School, Cumberland, which was run by the Reverend Dr. John James, with whom Boucher had a friendship of thirty years. In 1759 John Younger, a Whitehaven merchant, acting as an agent for his factor in Virginia, was seeking a young man to go to the colony as a private tutor. On 12 April 1759 Boucher stepped ashore on the banks of the Rappahanock River at Urbanna and then traveled eighty miles upriver to Port Royal to the home of Captain Edward Dixon to be the tutor of Dixon’s two sons, Harry and Turner. Boucher did not particularly enjoy Port Royal or his work as a tutor. “My thoughts had long been withdrawn from the Church; nor could my late course of life in any sense have qualified me for it. Yet happily as I trust for the future rectitude of my conduct, a train of unforeseen circumstances now led me back to this my original bias, and at last made me an ecclesiastic” ( ...

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Bowden, John (07 January 1751–31 July 1817), Anglican clergyman and educator, was born in Ireland, where his father, Thomas Bowden, Esq., was serving as an officer of the King’s Forty-fourth Regiment of foot soldiers. (Information about his mother is unavailable.) When his father came to America to fight in the French and Indian War, Bowden soon followed. After a period of private preparation, he studied at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) for two years, though he did not take a degree. Instead, when his father returned to Ireland after the cessation of hostilities in 1763, he followed him. Bowden returned to America in 1770 and studied divinity at King’s College (now Columbia University), graduating in 1772. Two years later he went to England for ordination as a priest of the Church of England....

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Bray, Thomas (1656–15 February 1730), Anglican activist for the American colonies, was born at Marton in Shropshire, England. Information about his parents and his childhood experiences is unavailable. After early education at Oswestry School, Bray attended Oxford University, earning a bachelor of arts degree at All Souls College in 1678 and a master of arts at Hart Hall in 1693. After being ordained as a priest in the Church of England he served for several years as a curate in Bridgnorth and then as chaplain to the family of Sir Thomas Price at Park Hill in Warwickshire....

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Camm, John (21 June 1718–22 May 1779), Anglican clergyman, professor, and college president, was born in Hornsea, Yorkshire, England, the son of Thomas Camm, and Ann (or Anna) Atkinson. He received a B.A. at Trinity College, Cambridge, and may also have held an M.A. and a D.D. He arrived in the colony of Virginia in 1745 to fill the post of rector of Newport Parish, Isle of Wight County. Within four years, he was appointed to one of two professorships of divinity at the College of William and Mary, first appearing in the faculty minutes on 18 September, 1749. He also became rector of Yorkhampton Parish, whose church stood in Yorktown, some twelve miles distant from Williamsburg, the seat of the college and of the government of the colony....

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Checkley, John (1680–15 February 1754), Anglican clergyman and pamphleteer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of English parents, whose names are not known. Educated at the Boston Latin School under the tutelage of Ezekiel Cheever, he later studied at Oxford, though he appears never to have matriculated; he did, however, learn Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Evidently a person of some means, he traveled extensively throughout Europe, collecting paintings, books, and manuscripts. He remained in Europe for some fifteen years but returned to Boston by 1710. In 1713 he married Rebecca Miller, daughter of Samuel Miller, a prosperous innkeeper of Milton, Massachusetts. Two of their children survived to adulthood. Checkley opened in 1717 a small store in Boston, eventually named the “Crown and Blue-Gate,” where he sold books, medicines, and other merchandise. He was a central figure among a group that included Thomas Walter, John Read, ...

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Coke, Thomas (28 September 1747–03 May 1814), Anglican priest and Methodist bishop, was born in Brecon, South Wales, the son of Bartholomew Coke, an apothecary, and Anne Phillips. In April 1764 he entered Jesus College, Oxford, as a gentleman commoner. He graduated with a B.A. in 1768 and an M.A. in 1770. In 1775 he obtained a doctorate in Civil Law....

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Cooper, Myles ( February 1737–20 May 1785), Anglican priest, president of King's College, and Loyalist, Anglican priest, president of King’s College, and Loyalist, was born near Broughton-Furness, Cumberland County, England, the son of William Cooper and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). Myles Cooper’s date of birth is not known, but he was baptized probably on 19 February 1737 in Cumberland County, England. In 1753 he entered Queen’s College, Oxford, earning the B.A. in 1756 and the M.A. in 1760. That year he also taught school in Kent. In 1761 he returned to Queen’s College, was appointed chaplain until he was ordained a priest, and published with collaborators ...

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Eaton, Nathaniel (1609–1674), clergyman and educator, was born in Cheshire, England, the son of the Reverend Richard Eaton, the vicar of Trinity Parish, Coventry, and Great Budworth, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). Eaton attended Westminster School and entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1629. Three years later he left the university without taking a degree. He resided briefly with his brother Theophilus in London and then received governmental permission to travel to Holland. There, at Franeker, he undertook religious studies under the exiled Puritan scholar William Ames. In Holland he also wrote and published a thesis concerning the attitude of different theologians toward the Sabbath. Sometime after the beginning of 1634 Eaton then returned to England where he became a schoolmaster....

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Evans, Evan (1671–1721), Anglican clergyman, was born in Carnoe, Wales, the son of Evan David Evans, a man of little or no property, and a mother whose name is unknown. He graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1695, having received a scholarship. In 1700 he was appointed rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia. Finding a small but committed congregation in a colony dominated by Quakers, Evans worked tirelessly to bring Anglicans back into the fold and to convert Quakers. He was supported by a £50 bounty from the Crown and whatever small contributions the congregation could raise. Evans attracted enough contributions and parishioners to warrant enlarging Christ Church in 1711....

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Evans, Nathaniel (08 June 1742–29 October 1767), poet and Church of England missionary, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Edward Evans, a merchant, and his wife, whose name is unknown. Intended by his parents for a career as a merchant, Evans entered the new Academy of Philadelphia soon after its opening in 1751. There he came under the influence of its energetic and visionary provost, the Reverend ...

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Honyman, James (1675–02 July 1750), clergyman, was born in Kinneff, Kincardinshire, Scotland, the son of James Honyman, a minister, and Mary Leask. His uncle Andrew Honyman was bishop of the Orkneys and his father was the pastor of Kinneff from 1663 to 1693. Young James probably received his education at a Scottish university and briefly served as a chaplain in the Royal Navy. In his early career he was a missionary for the Society of the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG), based in London, and was sent to Jamaica, Long Island, in the Province of New York as a missionary preacher prior to 1704. Honyman left for Newport, Rhode Island, in 1704 after experiencing resistance to the Church of England from Quakers and other dissenting sects. He married Elizabeth Carr circa 1705; they had seven children. After her death in 1737, he married Elizabeth Cranston Brown; they had no children....

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Inglis, Charles (1734–24 February 1816), Anglican minister, Loyalist, and first bishop of Nova Scotia, was born in Glencolumbkille, Donegal, Ireland, the son of the Reverend Archibald Inglis (mother’s name unknown). For four generations his family supplied pastors for important Anglican parishes, but Charles, orphaned at eleven, grew up in a poor parish, where his Protestant family was outnumbered five to one by Roman Catholic neighbors. Charles had hoped to follow the family tradition of attending Trinity College, Dublin, but poverty blocked any college education. Because of his Irish origins, poverty, religious minority status, and lack of a university education, Inglis held a lifelong antipathy to dissenters and deeply craved respectability and social status....

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Jarratt, Devereux (17 January 1733–29 January 1801), Anglican, later Episcopal, minister, was born in New Kent County, Virginia, the son of Robert Jarratt, a middling carpenter-farmer, and Sarah Bradley. According to his autobiography, published posthumously in 1806, the family was comfortable but hardly affluent, and Jarratt himself noted major differences between the simplicity of his own existence and the gentle circumstances of the class-conscious Virginia aristocrats. When Robert Jarratt died, his oldest son, also named Robert and also a carpenter, inherited the family plantation and became guardian of his younger brother, who was then between six and seven years old. Devereux attended a local English school until age eleven or twelve, then led the life of a typical eighteenth-century farm lad for a half-dozen years. Nominally Anglican, Jarratt reported in his autobiography that religion played only a small role in his life during that time. However, he continued to study secular subjects on his own and by age nineteen had acquired such renown as a self-taught scholar that Jacob Moon, an overseer in Albemarle County, invited him one hundred miles west to take up a position as schoolmaster....

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Johnson, Samuel (14 October 1696–06 January 1772), Anglican priest-missionary, philosopher, and college president, was born in Guilford, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Johnson, a fuller, and Mary Sage. Samuel was devoted to books and learning even as a small boy. At fourteen he entered the Collegiate School (later Yale College). Adept in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, he began a lifetime of intellectual activity by composing “A Synopsis of Natural Philosophy,” which he expanded into “An Encyclopedia of Philosophy.” Even before graduation in 1714, Johnson began teaching school at Guilford, and in 1716 he was made a tutor of the Collegiate School. Johnson expanded his intellectual horizons by voluminous reading in the library collected by ...

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Le Jau, Francis (1665–15 September 1715), Anglican clergyman, was born in Angers, France, of Huguenot parents whose names are unknown. Little is known of his early life, but he emigrated to England in 1685, probably to escape the religious persecution associated with the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. He attended Trinity College, Dublin, earning an M.A. in 1693, a B.D. in 1696, and a D.D. in 1700. He also served as a canon in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London....

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Lerner, Gerda (30 Apr. 1920–2 Jan. 2013), historian, playwright, and political activist, was born Gerda Hedwig Kronstein in Vienna, Austria, the oldest of two daughters in the well-off Jewish family of Robert Kronstein, a pharmacist, and Ilona Neumann Kronstein, an artist. Her bohemian mother did not get along well with her more conventional father, and the two went their own ways, without securing a divorce. Gerda, and her younger sister, Nora, fell under the influence of her paternal grandmother and a succession of nannies and were educated in the primary schools of Vienna....