Bott, Thomas (1688-1754) (DNB00)

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BOTT, THOMAS (1688–1754), divine, was born at Derby in 1688. His father was a mercer; his grandfather had been si parliamentary major. He was brought up for the dissenting ministry, but after some experience of preaching went to London to study medicine, and then took orders, and obtained the rectory of Whinburgh, in Norfolk, through Lord Macclesfield's interest. In 1724 he published a discourse to prove that ‘peace and happiness in this world' was ‘the immediate design of Christianity.' A defence of this followed in 1730. In 1725 he attacked Wollaston’s peculiar mode of deducing morality from truth, and in 1730 published a sermon called 'Morality founded in the Reason of Things.' In 1734 Mr. Long gave him the rectory of Spixworth, which he held, with the neighbouring parish of Croftwick, till his death. In 1738 he preached a sermon, on 30 Jan., upon the duty of doing as we would be done by, observing only, by way of application, that if both parties had fulfilled this duty Charles would) not have lost his head. In the same year he attacked Butler’s 'Analogy’ [see Butler, Joseph]. In 1739 he married Rebecca, daughter of Edmund Britiffe, of Hanworth. In 1743 he published his chief work, ‘An Answer to the Rev. Mr. Warburton's Divine Legation,' &c., in which he censures Warburton for making morality dependent upon the command of a superior being. In 1747 Mr. Harbord presented him to the living of Edgefield, Norfolk, in gratitude for his hindrance of a ‘ridiculous and pernicious match in the family.' His whole ecclesiastical income, however, was only 200l. a year. His health broke in 1750, and he died 23 Sept. 1751 at Norwich. He was a choleric but kindly man, a follower of Hoadly, a friend of Clarke, and a thorough whig. He left one son, Edmund Bott, afterwards of Christchurch, Hampshire, who was a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

[Life in Biog. Brit. by Kippis, who married his niece, with information from his son and Dr. Flexman.]

L. S.