Steward, Thomas (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

STEWARD, THOMAS, D.D. (1669?–1753), presbyterian divine, was born about 1669, probably at Norwich. His family was originally of Lackford, Suffolk. He was educated for the ministry by John Collinges, D.D. [q. v.], and in 1689, on the recommendation of John Fairfax (1623–1700) [q. v.], was settled in a congregation at Debenham, Suffolk. In 1706 he succeeded Elias Travers as minister of Cook Street presbyterian congregation, Dublin, on a stipend of 80l. His house rent cost him 20l., and he complains that, funeral sermons being ‘quite out of fashion,’ he got ‘nothing in that way,’ and as there was no fee for baptism, ‘neither burials nor births are of any advantage to me.’ Steward was orthodox, though a non-subscriber; he attended with Joseph Boyse [q. v.] and others as a deputation from the Dublin presbytery to the general synod of Ulster at Derry (1722), when a vain attempt was made to heal the non-subscription controversy. In 1724 he left Dublin and became minister of the presbyterian congregation at Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk. He received the diploma of D.D. from Aberdeen in 1733. He was a correspondent of Francis Hutcheson, (1694–1746) [q. v.], Philip Doddridge, D.D. [q. v.], John Leland (1691–1766) [q. v.], and Cromwell Mortimer [q. v.] He died at Bury St. Edmund's on 10 Sept. 1753, aged 84. His wife died in 1749.

Besides one or two tracts, he published ‘Sermons,’ 1734, 8vo. In the ‘Philosophical Transactions Abridged,’ 1738, viii. 269, is his paper on a remedy for the bite of a mad dog. A folio volume of manuscript letters in Latin and English, containing about eighty originals addressed to Steward, and twenty copies of his replies, was in 1879 in the possession of Sir Edward Reid of Derry.

[Browne's Hist. of Congregationalism in Norfolk and Suffolk, 1877, pp. 420, 491; Witherow's Hist. and Lit. Memorials of Presbyterianism in Ireland, 1879, i. 175 sq.; Irwin's Hist. of Presbyterianism in Dublin, 1890, p. 322; Records of Gen. Synod of Ulster, 1897, ii. 24 sq.]

A. G.