Ewer, John (DNB00)

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EWER, JOHN (d. 1774), bishop of Bangor, was educated at Eton, whence he proceeded in 1723 to King's College, Cambridge, of which he become fellow. He took the degrees of B.A. 1728, M.A. 1733, and D.D. 1756. On leaving college he was appointed assistant-master at Eton. He afterwards become tutor to the Marquis of Granby, accompanied him on his travels, and in 1735 was presented by the marquis to the richly endowed rectory of Bottesford, Leicestershire. On 1 March 1737-8 he was appointed by patent to a canonry of Windsor (Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Hardy, iii. 408), with which he subsequently held the rectory of West Ilsley, Berkshire, In 1749 he became rector of Dengie, Essex, and on 4 Nov. 1751 was instituted prebendary of Moreton cum Whaddon in the cathedral of Hereford (ib. i. 614). He was raised to the see of Llandaff 13 Sept. 1761 (ib. ii. 256), and translated to Bangor 20 Dec. 1768 (ib. i. 109). He died 28 Oct. 1774 at his seat near Worcester (Gent. Mag. xliv. 542), having married, 14 Sept. 1743, Elizabeth, daughter and coheiress of Thomas Barnardiston of Wyverstone, Suffolk, who survived him (ib. xiii.498). He left a daughter, Margaret Frances Ewer (will registered in P. C. C. 419, Bargrave), His library was sold in 1776 (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. iii. 658). Ewer took occasion, in a sermon preached before the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 20 Feb. 1767, to reproach the American colonists because they failed to see any use for bishops or episcopally ordained ministers. He then proceeded to brand them as 'infidels and barbarians, . . . living without remembrance or knowledge of God, without any divine worship, in dissolute wickedness, and the most brutal profligacy of manners,' adding the extraordinary statement, 'That this their neglect of religion was contrary to the pretences and conditions under which they obtained royal grants and public authority to their adventures, such pretences and conditions being the enlargement of commerce and the propagation of christian faith. The former they executed with sincerity and zeal, and in the latter most notoriously failed.' These silly slanders were easily disposed of by Charles Chauncy of Boston, in 'A Letter to a Friend,' dated 10 Dec. 1767, and in a spirited 'Letter' to the bishop himself, by William Livingston, governor of New Jersey, in 1768. Ewer also published: 1. 'A Fast Sermon before the House of Lords,' 1702. 2. 'A Sermon before the President and Governors of the London Hospital,' 1706.

[Harwood's Alumni Eton. p. 314; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. viii. 465; Page's Suppl. To Suffolk Traveller, p. 504; Gent. Mag. lxii. pt. ii. 746.]

G. G.