Detailed knowledge of the lives and writings of protestant dissenting tutors from the Restoration (1660) to the opening of Philip Doddridge’s academy (1729) is crucial for understanding the political, social, and literary impact of dissent in the later Stuart and early Hanoverian period. Several dissenting tutors, such as Charles Morton, Richard Frankland, and Henry Grove, were among the most prominent writers, thinkers, and educators of their time. Through their private academies, these men helped to educate many of the most important literary and philosophical figures of the early eighteenth century, including Daniel Defoe, Isaac Watts, Philip Doddridge, Samuel Wesley, and Joseph Butler. However, the work of many of the dissenting tutors of the period has hitherto been under-explored. This Biographical Dictionary provides the first detailed and comprehensive account of the lives and educational practices of every tutor at the dissenters’ earliest academies. It analyses an extensive range of printed and manuscript educational texts, many of them previously unknown or unstudied, thereby increasing understanding of the nature of early modern scholarship, and providing an informed discussion of the intellectual conditions from which later dissenting educators and their associates emerged.
The Dictionary consists of 91 entries on the lives of dissenting tutors and a substantial introduction examining the political, literary, and educational significance of the academies. Each tutor entry considers the individual’s life and writings, with particular emphasis upon his education, teaching, and literary output. Extensive information is also provided on the tutor’s ministerial career, attempts to prosecute him, his posthumous legacy, and the careers of his students. Every entry is accompanied by a bibliography of manuscript and printed sources, and (wherever possible) a list of the tutor’s works. Unlike most previous accounts of the academies, the information used to compile the Dictionary is drawn from contemporary documents, including letters, diaries, funeral sermons, manuscript and printed memoirs, state papers, and chapel registers. As well as discussing printed works, considerable attention is devoted to manuscript notebooks used by tutors and students, including lecture notes, systems of learning, philological and mathematical exercises, and disputations.
Users of the Dictionary are encouraged to read the Introduction for a fuller account of the scope, presentation, and significance of the information provided in the tutor entries.