Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gaskin, George

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GASKIN, GEORGE (1751–1829), prebendary of Ely, son of John Gaskin, a leather-seller (1710–1766), and of Mabel his wife (1707–1791), was born at Newington Green, London, in 1751. He was educated at a classical school in Woodford, Essex, and went to Trinity College, Oxford, in 1771. He proceeded B.A. in 1775, M.A. in 1778, and D.D. in 1788. He was ordained deacon in 1774, when he became curate of St. Vedast, Foster Lane. He was then appointed to fill the vacant office of lecturer in the parish of Islington, a post which he occupied for forty-six years. In 1778 he accepted the curacy of the parish of Stoke Newington. His first preferment was the rectory of Sutton and Mepal in the Isle of Ely. This, however, in 1791 he managed to exchange for the living of St. Bennet, Gracechurch Street, in order to be at hand for fulfilling his duties as secretary to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. He was further employed on behalf of this society to visit and report upon the mission schools and churches of the Scilly Islands. He was a vigorous supporter of the Scotch episcopalians, and was selected as a member of the English committee for the obtaining of a bill known as ‘An Act for granting Relief to Pastors and Ministers and Lay Persons of the Episcopal Communion in Scotland.’ In 1797 he was further promoted to the rectory of Stoke Newington. On attaining his seventy-second year he was presented (25 May 1822) to a vacant stall in Ely Cathedral, through which preferment he was enabled to resign his secretaryship, and ultimately his post as lecturer of Islington. He then took a prominent position in assisting church institutions in Western America, and in 1823 acted as trustee of the funds collected for the infant church of Ohio. He died on 29 June 1829, from a rapid succession of epileptic fits. Gaskin was married in early life to Elizabeth Broughton, daughter of the Rev. Thomas Broughton, rector of Allhallows, Lombard Street, and of Wotton, Surrey. His published works are few and unimportant, consisting of various sermons delivered on special occasions. He compiled and revised in 1798 the uncorrected writings of the Rev. Richard Southgate, curate of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, and rector of Warsop, Nottinghamshire, who bequeathed him all his manuscript papers. In 1821 he published an edition of sermons written by the American bishop, Theodore Dehon.

[Gent. Mag. xcix. 183, 282, 643, 1848 pt. ii. 35; funeral sermon by Aug. Clissold, 1829; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Nichols's Lit. Illustr. and Lit. Anecd. &c.]

W. F. W. S.