Seddon, Thomas (1753-1796) (DNB00)

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SEDDON, THOMAS (1753–1796), author, son of John Seddon, farmer, of Pendleton, near Manchester, was born in 1753, and received part of his education at the Manchester grammar school. He was intended by his father for the medical profession, but himself chose the church, though he was ill-suited for it. He matriculated from Magdalen Hall, Oxford, on 2 March 1776, but wasted his time, ran into debt, and took no degree, although he afterwards styled himself M.A. In January 1777 he was curate of the chapelry of Stretford, near Manchester, which he held until his death. For a time he was also curate at St. George's, Wigan, and from 1789 incumbent of Lydgate, Saddleworth, in the parish of Rochdale. His living at Stretford was sequestered for debt after he had been there two or three years. At Wigan he was unpopular, and generally he appears to have been negligent of his duties, and ‘a clever but erratic parson of the Doctor Dodd species,’ as James Crossley styled him (Manchester School Reg. i. 116). He married for means a young lady of good family near Manchester, and died in 1796, on his passage to the West Indies, as chaplain of the 104th or royal regiment of Manchester volunteers.

He was author of, apart from sermons: 1. ‘Characteristic Strictures, or Remarks on upwards of One Hundred Portraits of the most Eminent Persons in the Counties of Lancaster and Chester,’ London, 1779, 4to [anon.]; a series of libellous and satiric sketches which gave great offence. 2. ‘Letters written to an Officer in the Army on various subjects, Religious, Moral, and Political, with a view to the Manners, Accomplishments, and proper Conduct of Young Gentlemen,’ Warrington, 1786, 2 vols. 8vo. 3. ‘Impartial and Free Thoughts on a Free Trade to the Kingdom of Ireland’ [1780], 8vo.

[Manchester School Register, i. 115 (Chetham Soc.); Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1714–1886; Bailey's Old Stretford, 1878, p. 45; Clarke's School Candidates, ed. J. E. Bailey, 1877, p. 17.]

C. W. S.