Churton, Ralph (DNB00)

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CHURTON, RALPH (1764–1831), archdeacon of St. David's, was born on an estate called the Snabb, in the township of Bickley and parish of Malpas, Cheshire, on 8 Dec. 1754, being the younger of two sons of Thomas Churton, yeoman, and Sarah Clemson. He was educated in the grammar school of Malpas, and after the loss of both parents, who died while he was very young, he found a friend and benefactor in Dr. Thomas Townson, rector of Malpas, who recommended that he should be entered at Brasenose College, Oxford (1772), and who defrayed half of his expenses at the university. He graduated B.A. in 1775 and MA. in 1778; was elected a fellow of his college in the latter year; chosen Bampton lecturer in 1785; appointed Whitehall preacher by Bishop Porteus in 1788; presented to the college rectory of Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire, in 1792; and collated to the archdeaconry of St. David's, by Bishop Burgess, on 18 Sept. 1805. He died at Middleton Cheney on 28 March 1881.

He married in 1796 Mary Calcot of Stene in Northamptonshire, and had eight children, of whom only four survived him. His second and third sons, Edward and William Ralph, are noticed in separate articles.

Besides some detached sermons and controversial works of ephemeral interest, he wrote: 1. 'Eight Sermons on the Prophecies respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem, preached before the university of Oxford in 1785, at the lecture founded by John Bampton,' Oxford, 1785, 8vo. 2. A memoir of Thomas Townson, D.D., archdeacon of Richmond, and rector of Malpas, Cheshire, prefixed to 'A Discourse on the Evangelical History from the Interment to the Ascension,' published after Dr. Townson's death by Dr. John Loveday, Oxford, 1793. This memoir has been wholly or in part thrice reprinted; in 1810, prefixed to an edition of Townson's whole Works; in 1828, with a private impression of 'Practical Discourses,' edited by Dr. Jebb, bishop of Limerick; and in 1830, with the same discourses, published at London. 3. 'A Letter to the Bishop of Worcester [Dr. Hurd], occasioned by his strictures on Archbishop Secker and Bishop Lowth, in his Life of Bishop Warburton,' Oxford, 1796, 8vo. 4. 'The Lives of William Smyth, Bishop of Lincoln, and Sir Richard Sutton, knight, founders of Brazen Nose College,' Oxford, 1800, 8vo. To this work a supplement was published in 1803. 5. 'The Life of Alexander Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's; chiefly compiled from registers, letters, and other authentic evidences,' Oxford, 1809, 8vo. 6. A memoir of Dr. Richard Chandler, prefixed to a new edition of his 'Travels in Asia Minor and Greece,' 2 vols. 1825.

[Gent. Mag. ci. (i.) 477, 662; Le Neve's Fasti, i. 310; Ormerod's Cheshire, i. p. xix, ii. 361; Cat. of Oxford Graduates (1851 ), 128; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 472, iv. 180, vi. 303, 331, 338, ix. 736; Nichols's lllustr. of Lit. v. 560, viii. 611; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Biog. Dict. of Living Authors (1816), 62; Martin's Privately Printed Books, 360.]

T. C.