Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pratt, Samuel (1659?-1723)

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PRATT or PRAT, SAMUEL (1659?–1723), dean of Rochester, is variously stated to have been born on 2 June 1659 and on 22 July 1658. He entered Merchant Taylors' School on 11 March 1666. Thence he probably proceeded to Cambridge; but his only recorded degree is that of S.T.P. per regias literas, in 1697. On 10 March 1682 he became rector of Kenardington, Kent. He resigned this benefice in February 1693, and on 23 Nov. came into residence as vicar of All Hallows, Tottenham High Cross. On 7 April 1697 he became minister of the Savoy Chapel. Pratt was also one of the chaplains of the Princess Anne, and, on the recommendation of Lord and Lady Fitzhardinge, was appointed sub-preceptor, under Bishop Burnet, to her son, the Duke of Gloucester. On 27 Nov. 1697 he was named a canon of Windsor; on 8 Aug. 1706 he was promoted dean of Rochester and clerk of the closet. From 15 Aug. 1709 till July 1713 he was also vicar of Goudhurst in Kent, and from 21 Jan. 1712 till his death vicar of Twickenham. He died on 14 Nov. 1723.

In addition to many sermons, Pratt published: 1. ‘The regulating Silver Coin made practicable and easie to the Government and Subject. Humbly submitted to the consideration of both Houses of Parliament, by a Lover of his Country,’ 1696. This was a contribution of more curiosity than value to the problem of the restoration of the currency undertaken in this year by Somers and Montagu in conjunction with Locke and Newton. 2. ‘Grammatica Latina in usum principis juventutis Britannicæ, cum notis necnon conjecturis tam veterum quam aliorum Grammaticorum … subjunctis,’ 1722, 2 vols. 8vo. 3. ‘Ejusdem Grammaticæ Compendium,’ 1723, 8vo. The grammar was severely criticised by Solomon Lowe in his ‘Proposals’ prefixed to his own grammar, 1722.

The dean left a son, Samuel Pratt, B.A. of St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, 1710 (cf. Atterbury, Correspondence, ed. Nichols, iii. 339–40).

[Robinson's Register of Merchant Taylors' School, vol. i.; Grad. Cantabr.; Le Neve's Fasti Anglic. Eccles. ii. 578; Newcourt's Repert. Eccl. Lond. i. 697, 755; Robinson's Hist. of Tottenham, ii. 14, 177; Wildash's Hist. of Rochester, p. 194; Hasted's Kent, iii. 44, 118; Cobbett's Memorials of Twickenham, pp. 113, 212; Loftie's Memorials of the Savoy, pp. 192–3; Hist. Reg. 1723 (Chron. Diary), p. 52, which overestimates Pratt's age; Memoirs of the Duke of Gloucester, by Jenkyn Lewis, ed. Loftie, 1881; Sandford's Genealog. Hist. of Kings of England, continued by Stebbing, 1707, pp. 861–2; Watt's Bibl. Brit. ii. 774; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. Le G. N.