John Prior Estlin

Short Name: John Prior Estlin
Full Name: Estlin, John Prior, 1747-1817
Birth Year: 1747
Death Year: 1817

Estlin, John Prior, D.D., 1747-1817, b. at Hinckley, and educated at the Warrington Academy. For many years minister at Lewin's Mead, Bristol; author of Familiar Lectures on Moral Philosophy, &c.; editor of the Psalms & Hymns, adapted to Public and Private Worship, Collected for the use of the Society of Lewin's Mead, Bristol, 1806, to which he contributed two hymns, also in Martineau’s Hymns for the Christian Church and Home & Martineau’s Hymns of Praise and Prayer.
1. Gracious source of every blessing. For the close of Evening Service.
2. Thou art the First, and thou the Last. Ascription of Praise.
3. Eternal source of life and light. Prayer for spiritual blessings. In Kippis. & Belfast Collection.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Born: April 9, 1747, Hinckley, Leicestershire, England.
Died: August 10, 1817, Southerndown, Glamorganshire.
Buried: Lewin’s Mead Chapel, Bristol, England.

Estlin’s early education was undertaken by his uncle, John Prior, Vicar of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, and chaplain to the Earl of Moira. In 1764, he entered Warrington Academy, where the divinity chair was filled by John Aikin, father of Anna Barbauld. In 1770, he accepted an invitation to become the colleague of Thomas Wright at the chapel at Lewin’s Mead, Bristol; he began his duties there in January 1771.

Estlin soon afterwards opened a school at St. Michael’s Hill, Bristol, which met with great success, some of his pupils rising to eminence in parliament and the professions. His pupils held him in such esteem that they obtained the degree of LL.D. for him without his knowledge (Glasgow, conferred 1807). Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, Joseph Priestley, Anna Barbauld, and Robert Hall were among his friends.

Estlin’s sight began to fail around 1816. In 1817, he resigned his pulpit, receiving a large sum of money from his congregation as a testimonial. After preaching his farewell sermon on June 22, he retired to a cottage he had built for himself at his favorite summer haunt in Southerndown, Glamorganshire.

Estlin’s works include:

The Causes of the Inefficacy of Public Instruction Considered (Bath: 1790)
Evidences of Revealed Religion, and Particularly Christianity, 1795
Discourses on Universal Restitution
General Instructions in the Doctrines and Duties of Religion
The Nature and the Causes of Atheism
Familiar Lectures on Moral Philosophy
Psalms & Hymns, Adapted to Public and Private Worship, Collected for the Use of the Society of Lewin’s Mead, Bristol, 1806

Wikipedia Biography

John Prior Estlin (1747–1817) was an English Unitarian minister. He was noted as a teacher, and for his connections in literary circles.

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