Rotheram, Caleb (DNB00)

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ROTHERAM, CALEB, D.D. (1694–1752), dissenting minister and tutor, was born on 7 March 1694 at Great Salkeld, Cumberland. He was educated at the grammar school of Great Blencow, Cumberland, under Anthony Ireland, and prepared for the ministry in the academy of Thomas Dixon, M.D. [q. v.] at Whitehaven. In 1716 he became minister of the dissenting congregation at Kendal, Westmoreland. After Dixon's death (1729) he took up the work of a dissenting academy (1733) at Kendal, where he educated about one hundred and twenty laymen, including Jeremiah Dyson [q. v.], and fifty-six divinity students, of whom the most distinguished was George Walker (1735?–1807) [q. v.] In 1743 he visited Edinburgh, where he was admitted M.A., and gained the degree of D.D. by public disputation on 27 May. His theology, and that of most of his divinity pupils, was Arian. In 1751 his health failed; leaving his congregation and academy in charge of Richard Simpson, he went to Hexham, Northumberland, to stay with his eldest son, a physician. He died at Hexham on 8 June 1752, and was buried in the south aisle of the abbey church, where is a mural monument to his memory. His second son was in the army. His third son, Caleb (1738–1796), educated at Kendal (the academy ceased in 1753) and Daventry, was ordained minister of Kendal on 21 April 1756; he was a friend and correspondent of Priestley, and was apparently the first unitarian minister who officiated (1781) in Scotland [see Christie, William]. The elder Rotheram published ‘Dissertatio … de Religionis Christianæ Evidentia,’ &c., Edinburgh, 1743, 4to.

[Funeral Sermon by James Daye, 1752; Memoir, with biographical list of divinity students [by William Turner], in Monthly Repository, 1810, pp. 217 sq.; Turner's Lives of Eminent Unitarians, 1840, i. 359 sq.; manuscript records of Provincial Meeting of Cumberland and Westmoreland.

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