Pridden, John (DNB00)

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PRIDDEN, JOHN (1758–1825), antiquary, eldest son of John Pridden, by his wife Anne, daughter of Humphrey Gregory of Whitchurch, Shropshire, was born in London on 3 Jan. 1758. The father (1728–1807), born on 20 July 1728 at Old Martin Hall, near Ellesmere, Shropshire, of wealthy parents, ran away from home to escape the cruel treatment of a stepfather, and obtained employment with Richard Manby, a bookseller of Ludgate Hill, whom he eventually succeeded. He was intimate with many well-known authors and antiquaries. His portrait appears in the ‘Fruits of Experience’ (2nd edit. 1824, p. 88), by Joseph Brasbridge [q. v.]

The son entered St. Paul's School on 3 Aug. 1764, aged 7, and proceeded on 15 April 1777 to Queen's College, Oxford, winning the Pauline exhibition in 1778. He graduated B.A. in 1781, and was ordained soon after. He was incorporated M.A. at St. John's College, Cambridge. He was successively afternoon lecturer at Tavistock Chapel, London (1782); minor canon of St. Paul's (November 1782); vicar of Heybridge, Essex (July 1783); curate (from 1783 to 1803) of St. Bride's, Fleet Street, where the rector was non-resident; vicar of Little Wakering, Essex (1788); chaplain to Earl Powlett (1789); priest in ordinary of his majesty's Chapel Royal (1795); minor canon of Westminster; vicar of Caddington, Bedfordshire, from 1797, when he resigned his Essex livings; and finally rector of the united parishes of St. George, Botolph Lane, and St. Botolph, Bishopsgate.

Pridden was at once an antiquary, an amateur artist and architect, and a philanthropist. He was elected F.S.A. in 1785. To the ‘Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica’ he contributed ‘Appendix to the History of Reculver and Herne’ (1787) and many drawings, especially in illustration of the Leicestershire collections of his father-in-law, John Nichols [q. v.] His most useful antiquarian achievement was the continuation of the index and glossary to the ‘Rolls of Parliament,’ which had been commenced by Archdeacon John Strachey [q. v.] Over this he spent thirty years. It was completed by Edward Upham, F.S.A., and published in 1832, London, fol.

His excursions into architecture resulted in a design for the sea-bathing infirmary at Margate, of which he was joint founder with Dr. John Coakley Lettsom [q. v.], and for many years honorary secretary; a new vicarage at Caddington in 1812, and a plan for uniting Snow Hill and Holborn Hill, which he submitted to the Corporation of London.

He died on 5 April 1825 at his house in Fleet Street, and was buried on 12 April at St. Mary's, Islington, beside his first wife, Anne, daughter of John Nichols. His second wife, Anne, daughter of Robert Pickwoad of London, survived him. He had no issue.

[For the father see Gent. Mag. 1807 pt. i. p. 285, Roberts's Book-Hunter in London, p. 215, and Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 420. For the son Admissions to St. Paul's School, p. 130; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1888; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ii. 644, iii. 421, ix. 18, 220 n.; Nichols's Lit. Illustr. ii. 683, 849, v. 200, 227, 228, 231, 750, 751, viii. 676, 677; Gent. Mag. 1811 i. 84, 1824 i. 237, 1825 i. 467; Lettsom's Hints to promote Beneficence, &c., ii. 150, iii. 238; Lewis's Hist. of Islington, pp. 180, 239, 252; Nichols's Leicestershire, *423.]

C. F. S.