Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Alexander, John (1736-1765)

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ALEXANDER, JOHN (1736–1765), commentator, born in Dublin 26 Jan. 1736, was the son of John Alexander, M.A., and Hannah, who died 5 Oct. 1768, aged 63. His mother was the daughter of Rev. John Higgs, of Evesham, who died in September 1728. He entered Daventry Academy in 1751, where he occupied the same room with Priestley; and the two, sensible of the linguistic deficiencies of Daventry [see Ashworth, Caleb], became hard students of Greek together. Alexander became one of the best Greek scholars of his time. He studied biblical criticism under Dr. George Benson in London. He became presbyterian minister of Longdon, twelve miles from Birmingham. He died suddenly on the night of Saturday, 28 Dec. 1765, just after finishing a sermon (afterwards published) on death. He contributed to ‘The Library,’ a magazine edited by Kippis (1761–2), essays of some humour on ‘Defence of Persecution,’ ‘Dulness,’ ‘Common Sense,’ ‘Misanthropy,’ ‘Present State of Wit in Britain,’ &c. Posthumously were published his ‘Paraphrase on 1 Cor. xv.’ and ‘Commentary on Rom. vi., vii., viii., with Sermon (Ecc. ix. 10),’ edited by Rev. John Palmer, 1766. A sermon of his appears in J. H. Bransby's ‘Sermons for the Use of Families,’ vol. i. 1808.

[Biog. Brit. (Kippis) ii. 207; Priestley's Autobiog. incorporated in Rutt's Memoirs and Correspondence of Priestley, 1831; Beale's Memorials of Old Meeting House, Birmingham, 1882, p. 38, app. 113; Christ. Reformer, 1852, p. 609.]

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