Spearman, Robert (DNB00)

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SPEARMAN, ROBERT (1703–1761), eccentric theologian, born in 1703, eldest son of Robert Spearman, attorney, of the city of Durham, by his wife Hannah, only daughter of William Webster, merchant, of Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, resided at Oldacres, Sedgefield, in that county, and amused his leisure with rambling speculations in theology. A pupil of John Hutchinson (1674–1737) [q. v.], he survived him, edited his works, and wrote his life. He died on 20 Oct. 1761, leaving only female issue by his wife Anne, daughter of Robert Sharpe of Hawthorn, Durham. His own additions to the sum of human error are:

  1. ‘An Enquiry after Philosophy and Theology, tending to show when and whence mankind came at the knowledge of these two important points,’ Edinburgh, 1755, 8vo; 2nd ed. Dublin, 1757 (a polemic against the Newtonian physics).
  2. ‘Letters to a Friend concerning the Septuagint Translation and the Heathen Mythology,’ Edinburgh, 1759, 8vo (an attempt to derive all mythologies from a primeval revelation).

[Surtees's Durham, i. 96, iii. 48, 398; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iv. 171; Wesley's Journal, 27 April 1758, 13 March 1770; Orme's Bibliotheca Biblica; British Museum Cat.]

J. M. R.