Gifford, Andrew (DNB00)

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GIFFORD, ANDREW (1700–1784), baptist minister and numismatist, was the son of Emanuel Gifford, and grandson of Andrew Gifford, both baptist ministers at Bristol. He was born on 17 Aug. 1700, and was sent to the academy of Samuel Jones at Tewkesbury. After leaving that academy he studied for a time under Dr. John Ward. He seems to have performed ministerial work in Nottingham in 1725, and to have been assistant to his father at Bristol in 1726, in which year he was invited to become pastor of the congregation in Devonshire Square, London. He declined this position, but in the beginning of 1730 he accepted a call from the baptist meeting in Eagle Street, London. He was chaplain to Sir Richard Ellys [q. v.], and after Sir Richard's death to Lady Ellys, from 1731 to 1745. In 1754 he received the degree of D.D. from Aberdeen.

He collected coins, of which he had a great knowledge, and was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Owing to this, and to the influence of powerful friends with whom he had become acquainted during his chaplaincy to Ellys, and also probably owing to the fact that his old tutor, Dr. John Ward, was one of the trustees, he was appointed assistant librarian in the British Museum in 1757. He held this office till his death on 19 June 1784. He edited for the Society of Antiquaries ‘Folkes' Tables of English Silver and Gold Coins,’ which was published, in 2 vols. 4to, in 1763. His own collection of coins was purchased by George II for his private cabinet, but he left a valuable collection of books, manuscripts, pictures, and curiosities to the baptist academy at Bristol. His second wife, Grace Paynter, whom he married in 1737, died in 1762. She brought him a fortune of 6,000l. (Gent. Mag. vii. 637, xxxii. 600). He had no children. Pastor of the Eagle Street meeting till his death, he bequeathed 400l. to it, making the six deacons his executors.

Two of his sermons were published, one on ‘the Great Storm in 1703,’ 1734, and the other, preached ten days before his death, ‘To the Friendly Society,’ 1784.

[John Rippon's Funeral Sermon on Andrew Giffard, p. 34 ff.; Wilson's Dissenting Churches, i. 439; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. v. 461, vi. 367; Gent. Mag. liv. 478, 485, 595.]

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