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Bedford, Arthur (bap. 1668, d. 1745), Church of England clergyman and moral reformer, was baptized on 8 September 1668 at Tiddenham, Gloucestershire, the son of Richard Bedford, who was himself a Church of England clergyman. He was educated in 'grammar learning' (Bodl. Oxf., MS Rawl. J, fol. 2, fol. 160...

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Burnet, Gilbert (1690–1726), writer on religious and moral subjects, was born in Salisbury on 15 November 1690, the second son of Gilbert Burnet, bishop of Salisbury (1643–1715) and his second wife, Mary Scott (1659/60–1698). William Burnet (1688–1729) and Sir Thomas Burnet (1694–1753) were his brothers. His mother, who was Dutch, of Scottish ancestry, died on a visit to ...

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Cowherd, William (1763–1816), a founder of the Bible Christians (Cowherdites) and vegetarian, was born in Carnforth, Lancashire. Little is known of his early life, although his parents were probably James and Elizabeth Cowherd, or Coward. He described himself as a 'classical teacher in ...

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Disney, John (1677–1730), Church of England clergyman and moral reformer, was born at Lincoln on 26 December 1677, the son of Daniel Disney (1656–1734) of Swinderbury and his wife, Catherine Fynes (d. 1690). None of his four brothers and four sisters survived childhood. He was educated at grammar school and at a dissenting academy in ...

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John Disney (1677–1730) by Robert White, pubd 1710 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Drysdale, George (1824–1904), freethinker and advocate of contraception, was born at 8 Royal Circus, Edinburgh, on 27 December 1824, the fourth son of the city treasurer and tory leader on Edinburgh council, Sir William Drysdale (1781–1843), who was concerned with sanitary reform and was a correspondent of ...

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Leslie Stephen

revised by K. D. Reynolds

Dymond, Jonathan (1796–1828), Quaker moralist and peace advocate, was born on 19 December 1796 at Bridge House, Bridge Street, Exeter, the fifth child of the five sons and two daughters of John Dymond (1761–1838) and his wife, Olive Hitchcock (1761–1840). His family belonged to the ...

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Theobald Mathew (1790–1856) by Edward Daniel Leahy, 1846 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Mathew, Theobald (1790–1856), Capuchin friar and temperance campaigner, was the fourth son of Ann Mathew, née Whyte, and James Mathew, a cousin of Francis Mathew of Thomastown Castle near Cashel in co. Tipperary. James, who was descended from a Catholic line of the family, had been adopted by ...

Article

Woodward, Josiah (1657–1712), Church of England clergyman and moral reformer, was born on 13 February 1657 at Dursley, Gloucestershire, son of Joseph Woodward (c.1616–1662), the Presbyterian rector of Dursley, and his wife, Ann. He matriculated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, on 14 March 1673; he took a BA in 1676, an MA in 1679, and BD and DD in 1699. The date and place of his ordination, along with his activities in the 1680s, remain to be established, but he may well have been serving in a clerical capacity somewhere in ...