Biographical Appendix: 1786-90 Committee

Committees for Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts: Minutes 1786-90 and 1827-8. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1978.

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'Biographical Appendix: 1786-90 Committee', in Committees for Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts: Minutes 1786-90 and 1827-8, (London, 1978) pp. 107-110. British History Online [accessed 1 March 2024]

In this section


All members of the two repeal committees are listed below. The biographical notes derive from various sources, including London directories, Gentleman's Magazine, Monthly Repository, Christian Reformer, Baptist Quarterly, Musgrave's Obituary, Frederic Boase Modern English Biography, J. Brooke and L. Namier House of Commons 1754-1790, and biographical aids in Dr Williams's Library. DNB indicates the appearance of a member in the Dictionary of National Biography.


(i) London Members

Adair, James (1743?-1798): educated Peterhouse, Cambridge, B.A. 1764, M.A. 1767, called to the bar, Lincoln's Inn; serjeant-at-law 1774, king's serjeant 1782, Chief Justice of Chester 1796; recorder, City of London 1779-89; M.P., Cockermouth 1775-80, Higham Ferrers 1793-8; Wilkite associations, defended printer of Junius letters; opposed Lord North, supported American colonies, active in Portland-Fox connection; associated with prosecution of Thomas Hardy and John Horne Tooke, defence of William Stone; member, Whig Club. DNB.

Barker, John Raymond: added surname 'Barker' 1788; Dr Williams's trustee; director, South Sea Co.; member, Presbyterian Board, Carter Lane congregation; Dissenting Deputy.

Barnardiston, Nathaniel (1755-1837): of Harpur St, Red Lion Square.

Beaufoy, Henry (1750-95): s. of Quaker wine merchant; educated Hoxton, Warrington academies; a founder of Hackney College; M.P., Minehead 1783-4, Great Yarmouth 1784-95; member, Revolution Society; secretary, Board of Control 1791-3; moved repeal motions in the Commons 1787,1789; seconded Fox 1790. DNB.

Boddington, Benjamin (1730-91): West India merchant; director, South Sea Co., Million Bank; treas. and governor, City of London lying-in hospital, City Road; Dissenting Deputy.

Boddington, Thomas (1736-1821): 5th s. of B. Boddington; West India merchant; director, Bank of England 1782-1809, London Dock Co., Royal Exchange; treas., Dissenting Deputies 1793-1805.

Bond, John: Dissenting Deputy.

Bradney, John: Dissenting Deputy; probably drug merchant, Bradney, Taddy and Franklin, 26 Lawrence Lane.

Calamy, Edmund (c. 1743-1816): related to Rev. Edmund Calamy, Dissenting historian; educated Lincoln's Inn, barrister; Presbyterian Board; Dr Williams's trustee.

Cooke, Richard: Dissenting Deputy.

Cotton, Bayes: secretary, Dissenting Deputies 1788-95; probably succeeded Thomas Cotton as repeal committee secretary 1788.

Cotton, Thomas: secretary, Dissenting Deputies 1767-88; probably secretary of repeal committee.

Dodson, Michael (1732-99): educated Marlborough grammar school, Middle Temple, barrister; Unitarian sympathies, friend of Joseph Priestley and Rational Dissenters; member, Revolution Society; chairman, standing repeal committee 1790-6. DNB.

Downe, William: of East Smithfield.

Dowson, John: Dissenting Deputy; possibly a goldsmith of 77 Holborn Bridge and director, Hand-in-Hand Fire Office.

Esdaile, Sir James (d. 1793): citizen and cooper; alderman, Cripplegate ward 1767-93, sheriff of London 1766-7, lord mayor 1777-8; banking house at 26 Birchin Lane, later at 21 Lombard Street.

Esdaile, James: of Bridge St, Westminster; possibly Dr Williams's trustee, 1807-12; treas., Presbyterian Board 1807-12.

French, James Bogle (1722?-1792): merchant, St Swithin's Lane; treas., Dissenting Deputies 1771-92 and repeal committee; London representative, Africa Co.; director, Hand-in-Hand Fire Office.

Fuller, William (1705?-1800): banker, Lombard St; philanthropist; Dissenting Deputy.

Grigby, Joshua (1759-1829): M.P., Suffolk 1784-90; deputy lieutenant, magistrate, sheriff of Suffolk; member, Revolution Society, Friends of the People; president, Society for Constitutional Information 1788; parliamentary reformer.

Grubb, Edward: Dissenting Deputy; possibly clerk, Fishmongers' Co.

Hall, Thomas: Dissenting Deputy.

Heywood, John Pemberton (b. 1756): called to the bar, Lincoln's Inn 1780; country delegate from Yorkshire to Dodson's standing committee 1790; invited as honoured steward at banquet celebrating repeal 1828.

Heywood, Samuel (1753-1828): educated Warrington Academy and Trinity College, Cambridge, Inner Temple 1772; serjeant-at-law, chief justice Carmarthen circuit; friend of C. J. Fox, early supporter of T. Lindsey's Essex St chapel; rendered legal advice to Dissenting Deputies and repeal committee; author, The Right of Protestant Dissenters to a Compleat Toleration Asserted. DNB.

Hoghton, Sir Henry, 6th Bt (1728-95): educated Warrington Academy; M.P., Preston 1768-95; seconded all three repeal motions.

Hollis, Thomas Brand (1719-1804): heir of Thomas Hollis (1720-74); reform activist, friend of John Jebb, John Cartwright, Thomas Paine; a founder, Society for Constitutional Information; member, Westminster Committee, Revolution Society, Friends of the People; supported T. Lindsey's Essex St chapel and Hackney College; M.P., Hindon 1774-5.

Hollis, Timothy (d. 1790): of Ormond St; cousin of Thomas Hollis.

Hopkins, Benjamin Bond (?1745-94): Dissenting Deputy; Surrey landowner; M.P., Ilchester 1784-90, Malmesbury 1790-4.

Ingram, John: of Gower St, Bedford Square; member, Revolution Society.

Jeffries, Edward: chairman, repeal committee; see above, p. x.

Keene, Henry (1726?-1797): philanthropist, supported Particular Baptist ministers; member, Revolution Society, Maze Pond congregation, Southwark.

Lee, John (1733-93): educated Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn; M.P., Clitheroe 178290, Higham Ferrers 1790-3; Rockingham Whig, Solicitor General 1782-3, Attorney General 1783; Unitarian in later life, friend of Lindsey, Price, Priestley; member, Whig Club. DNB.

Lowdell, Stephen (d. 1810): physician, St Saviour's parish, Southwark; prominent Baptist layman and philanthropist; member, Worship St congregation, Finsbury Square; treas., General Baptist Fund, supporter of charity schools; Dissenting Deputy; funeral sermon by John Evans.

Maitland, John: of Basinghall St; s. of Robert Maitland, West India merchant; merchant in King's Arms Yard.

Martin, James (1738-1810): family banking firm in Lombard St; M.P., Tewkesbury 1776-1807; member, Revolution Society, Friends of the People, Whig Club; treas., Society for Constitutional Information 1788; divided against repeal 1790, citing wishes of constituents.

Milnes, Richard Slater (1759-1810): M.P., York 1784-1802; supporter of Wyvill's Yorkshire Assn; member, Society for Constitutional Information, Friends of the People.

Newnham, Nathaniel (1742-1809): citizen and mercer; alderman, Vintry ward 1774-1809, sheriff of London 1775-6, lord mayor 1782-3; president, St Thomas's Hospital 1782-1809; M.P., London 1780-90, Ludgershall 1793-6; joint founder, banking firm of Newnham, Everett, Drummond, Tibbits and Tanner, Lombard St 1785, later known as Everett and Co.; member, Revolution Society, Whig Club.

Rickards, Thomas: of Hackney.

Rogers, Thomas (d. 1793): banker; father of poet Samuel Rogers; Dr Williams's trustee; member, Society for Constitutional Information, Friends of the People; director, Union Fire Office; Dissenting Deputy.

Scott, Thomas (1723-1816): brickmaker; M.P., Bridport 1780-90; member, Whig Club.

Shore, Samuel jr. (1761?-1836): educated Warrington Academy, Lincoln's Inn; sheriff of Derby 1832; trustee, Lady Hewley's Charity; member, Friends of the People.

Sinclair, Sir John, 1st Bt (1754-1835): M.P., Caithness 1780-4, 1790-6, 1802-6, 1807-11, Lostwithiel 1784-90, Petersfield 1797-1802; member, Society for Constitutional Information.

Smith, [James or Thomas]: Dissenting Deputy.

Smith, Samuel (1755-93): banker and Turkey merchant; director, East India Co.; treas., Levant Co.; M.P., Ilchester 1780-4, Worcester 1784-90, Ludgershall 1791-3; vice president, Society for Constitutional Information 1788.

Smith, William (1756-1835): chairman, repeal committee 1827-8, Dissenting Deputies 1805-32; M.P., Sudbury 1784-90, 1796-1802, Camelford 1791-6, Norwich 1802-30; member, Yorkshire Assn., Society for Constitutional Information, Revolution Society, Friends of the People, Whig Club; supported slave trade abolition; see above, p. xix. DNB.

Thornton, Henry (1760-1815): banker; M.P., Southwark 1782-1815; governor, Bank of England; supported humanitarian reforms of Clapham Sect. DNB.

Thornton, Robert (1759-1826): director, East India Co., chairman 1813-14; M.P., Bridgwater 1785-90, Colchester 1790-1817.

Thornton, Samuel (1755-1838): brother of Henry and Robert; director, Bank of England; M.P., Kingston-upon-Hull 1784-1806, Surrey 1807-12, 1813-18. DNB.

Towgood, John (d. 1837): s. of Matthew Towgood; banker; Dr Williams's trustee; member, Revolution Society, Friends of the People; Dissenting Deputy.

Towgood, Matthew (d. 1791): s. of Dissenting minister Micaiah Towgood, of Exeter; banker, Clement's Lane; Dr Williams's trustee; Presbyterian Board; Dissenting Deputy.

Vaughan, Benjamin (1751-1835): s. of London merchant Samuel Vaughan; educated Warrington Academy, pupil of J. Priestley; M.P., Calne 1792-6; member, Society for Constitutional Information. DNB.

Watson, James: of Bedford Square; serjeant-at-law; member, Revolution Society.

West, James: of Chatham Place; director, Hand-in-Hand Fire Office; linendraper at 103 Cheapside; member, Revolution Society, Whig Club.

Whitmore, Thomas (1743-95): of Margaret St, Cavendish Square; M.P., Bridgnorth 1771-95; member, Whig Club.

Wilkes, John (1727-97): sheriff of London 1771-2, lord mayor 1774-5, City chamberlain 1779-97; M.P., Aylesbury 1757-64, Middlesex 1768-9, 1774-90. DNB.

Yerbury, John: Dissenting Deputy; director, Union Fire Office; possibly of John Yerbury and Co., hosiers, Gracechurch St.

(ii) Country Members

Bayley, Thomas Butterworth (1744-1802): educated Univ. of Edinburgh; agriculturalist, prison reformer, philanthropist; J.P. for county palatine of Lancaster; a founder, Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester. DNB.

Chapman, Anthony: sheriff of Dorset.

Iremonger, Joshua: of Wherwell.

Russell, William (1740-1818): merchant; reformer, of Birmingham, and supporter of J. Priestley. DNB.

Shore, Samuel (1738-1828): iron manufacturer; Sheffield Dissenter, reformer; active in Wyvill's Yorkshire Assn., delegate to London from York 1780, 1782; benefactor of Dissenting charities, Unitarian institutions; friend of T. Lindsey and Essex St chapel trustee; member, Friends of the People; vice-president, Society for Constitutional Information 1788.

Wilkinson, Jacob: of Bedford; member, Whig Club.

(iii) Country Delegates

Alderson, Robert, of Norfolk.

Bradbury, Rev.




Grove, Rev., of York.

Hammond, Rev.

Hardy, Dr, occasionally chairman of committee meetings.




Kippis, Andrew (1725-95): educated Northampton Academy under Philip Doddridge; leader, General Body of Protestant Dissenting Ministers; prominent Presbyterian with Arian sympathies; pastor, Princess St congregation, Westminster 1753-95; biographer; elected to Royal Society 1779; Hackney College tutor; Dr Williams's trustee. DNB.

Manning, William, of Norfolk.





Robinson, Rev.

Urwicke, Rev.


Wood, Rev., of York.