Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Welchman, Edward

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WELCHMAN, EDWARD (1665–1739), theologian, son of John Welchman, ‘gentleman,’ of Banbury, Oxfordshire, was born in 1665. He was matriculated as a commoner of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, on 7 July 1679. He was one of the choristers of Magdalen College in that university from 1679 till 1682 (Bloxam, Register of Magdalen College, i. 117). He proceeded B.A. on 24 April 1683, was admitted a probationer fellow of Merton College in 1684, and commenced M.A. on 19 June 1688. His college presented him in 1690 to the rectory of Lapworth, Warwickshire, and he was also rector of Berkeswell in the same county. He became archdeacon of Cardigan and a prebendary of St. David's on 7 Aug. 1727. Afterwards he became chaplain to the bishop of Lichfield, who collated him to the prebend of Wolvey in that cathedral on 28 Sept. 1732. He obtained the rectory of Solihull, Warwickshire, in 1736, and held it until his death on 19 May 1739.

His son John graduated M.A. at Oxford, and became vicar of Tamworth, Warwickshire. Another son kept an inn at Stratford-on-Avon, and used to boast that his father made the Thirty-nine articles (Spiritual Quixote, bk. xii. chap. x.).

His principal work is:

  1. ‘Articuli XXXIX. Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ Textibus e Sacra Scriptura depromptis confirmati, brevibusque Notis illustrati; cum Appendice de Doctrina Patrum,’ Oxford, 1713, 8vo; reprinted 1718, 1724; 5th edit. 1730, 1774, 1793, 1819. An English translation from the sixth edition appeared under the title of ‘The Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, illustrated with Notes,’ 1776; reprinted in 1777, 1783, 1790, 1805, 1811, 1823, 1834, and 1842.

Among his other publications are:

  1. ‘A Defence of the Church of England from the Charge of Schism and Heresie, as laid against it by [Henry Dodwell] the Vindicator of the deprived Bishops’ (anon.), London, 1693, 4to.
  2. ‘The Husbandman's Manual: directing him how to improve the several actions of his calling, and the most usual occurrences of his life, to the glory of God, and the benefit of his soul,’ London, 1695, 8vo; 25th edit. London, 1818, 8vo; new edit. London, 1821, 12mo.
  3. ‘Dr. Clarke's Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity examined; to which are added some remarks on his sentiments, and a brief examination of his Doctrine,’ Oxford, 1714, 4to.
  4. An edition with notes of ‘D. Aurelii Augustini Hipponensis Episcopi Liber de Hæresibus ad quod-vult-Deum, una cum Gennadii Massiliensis Appendice,’ Oxford, 1721, 8vo.
  5. ‘A Conference with an Arian; occasion'd by Mr. Whiston's Reply to the Earl of Nottingham’ (anon.), Oxford, 1721, 8vo.
  6. ‘A Dialogue betwixt a Protestant Minister and a Romish Priest,’ 3rd edit. London, 1723, 8vo; 4th edit. 1735.
  7. ‘Novatiani Presbyteri Romani Opera, quæ extant, omnia, correctius longe quam unquam antehac edita, notisque illustrata,’ Oxford, 1724, 8vo.

[Addit. MS. 5883, f. 224 b; Brüggemann's Engl. Editions of Greek and Latin Authors, pp. 724, 747; Cooke's Preacher's Assistant; De la Roche's New Memoirs of Literature, 1725, ii. 122; Foster's Alumni Oxon., 1500–1714, iv. 1594; Le Neve's Fasti, ed. Hardy, i. 315, 320, 642; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iv. 481.]

T. C.