Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Chishull, Edmund

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CHISHULL, EDMUND (1671–1733), divine and antiquary, son of Paul Chishull (Athenæ, iv. 621), was born at Eyworth, Bedfordshire, 22 March 1670-1 . He was admitted scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1687, and was elected probationary fellow in 1696, proceeding B.A. 1690, M.A. 1693, and B.D. 1705. Shortly after taking his M. A. degree he was 'repeater of the Easter sermons at St. Mary's, and showed himself to be a man of good memory' (Hearne, Collections, i. 290). Having received from his college 'the traveller's place,' and being appointed chaplain to the factory of the Turkey Company at Smyrna, he sailed from England in the Neptune frigate on 10 Feb. 1698, and arrived at Smyrna on 12 Nov. following. While resident at Smyrna he made a tour to Ephesus, setting out on 21 April 1699 and returning on 3 May. In 1701 he visited Constantinople. He resumed his chaplaincy the next year, and left Smyrna on 10 Feb. 1701–2, taking his homeward journey by Gallipoli and Adrianople where he joined Lord Paget, who was returning from an embassy to the Porte. Travelling as a member of the ambassador's household, he passed through Bulgaria, Transylvania, Hungary, and Germany to Holland. At Leyden he took leave of Lord Paget and returned to England alone. He soon afterwards became lecturer of St. Olave's, Hart Street; he married and resigned his fellowship. On 1 Sept. 1708 he was instituted to the living of Walthamstow, Essex. In 1711 he was appointed chaplain to the queen, and in 1731 received the living of Southchurch, also in Essex. He preached unwritten sermons. He died at Walthamstow on 18 May 1733. His published works are: 1. 'Gulielmo Tertio . . . carmen heroicum,' 1692, on the victory of La Hogue. 2. 'In obitum . . . Reginæ Mariæ carmen pastorale,' Musæ Anglicæ,' iii. 234. 3. 'A Charge of Heresy . . . against Mr. Dodwell's Discourse concerning the Mortality of the Soul,' 1706. This abusive attack on his friend roused the wrath of Hearne, who describes Chishull as 'a confident, opiniative little writer.' It was animadverted upon by Samuel Clarke, rector of St. James's, Westminster, 1708, and answered by 'An Explication and Expostulation,' by H. Dodwell, 1708. 4. 'Inscriptio Sigea antiquissima . . . eam illustravit E. C.,' 1721 . 5. 'Notarum ad inscriptionem Sigæam appendicula,' n. d. 6. 'Dissertatio de nummis quibusdam a Smyrnæis in medicorum honorem percussis,' an appendix to Dr. R. Mead's Harveian oration delivered in 1723 and published in 1724. This treatise gave rise to some controversy. 7. 'Antiquitates Asiaticæ,' including 4 and 5, together with 'Conjectanea de nummo . . . inscripto,' and 'Iter Asiæ poeticum,' 1728. In this work he embodied some information he had received from J. Pitton de Tournefort, who visited Smyrna in 1701, and he was much helped in its composition by his friend Dr. Mead. Many of his interpretations were severely criticised. 8. Eleven sermons published at different dates between 1698 and 1719. One of these, 'On the Orthodoxy of an English Clergyman,' was made the subject of controversy; two others reached a second edition. 9. 'Travels in Turkey and back to England,' published posthumously by his son Edmund, with preface by Dr. Mead, 1747; at the end is a letter from Chishull to Dr. Thomas Turner, president of Corpus, dated 13 June 1700. Chishull was one of Turner's executors, and composed the inscription on his monument in the church of Stowe, Northamptonshire. With many copies of the 'Antiquitates Asiaticæ' are twelve pages of a second part. No more was printed in consequence of the author's death. A copy in the British Museum has copious manuscript notes by the author. Chishull’s manuscripts were purchased by the British Museum in 1785.

[Nichols's Lit. Anecd. i. 270-82, has two letters by Chishull. From Nichols's account the notices in Biog. Brit. and Chalmers’s Biog. Dict. are compiled. Hearne’s Collections (ed. Doble), i. 290, 312, 326; J. Pitton de Tournefort’s Voyage (Eng. trans.), ii. 378; Chishull’s Travels; Pearson’s Chaplains to the Levant Company, 34 ; Rawlinson MSS. fol. 16, p. 367.]

W. H.