The son of a Huguenot immigrant, John Jortin was born in London and studied at Charterhouse School before entering Jesus College Cambridge in 1715 as a pensioner (B.A. 1719, Fellow 1721-28, M.A. 1722, D.D. 1755). After being employed on Pope's Homer, Jortin was Vicar of Swavesey, Cambridgeshire (1727-31), Reader at New Street Chapel, Bloomsbury (1731), Boyle Lecturer at Cambridge (1749), Rector of St. Dunstan in London (1751), Vicar of Kensington (1762-70) and Archdeacon of London (1764-70). Thomas Birch was a friend, Warburton and Hurd were foes.
Four sermons on the truth of the Christian religion. 1730.
Miscellaneous observations upon authors ancient and modern, 2 vols, 1731.
Remarks on Spenser's poems. 1734.
Six discourses on the truth of the Christian religion. 1746.
Lusus poetici, etc. 1748.
Remarks on ecclesiastical history. 5 vols, 1751-54.
Six dissertations upon different subjects. 1755
Life of Erasmus. 1758.
Sermons on different subjects. 7 vols, 1771-72.
Tracts, theological, critical, and miscellaneous, 2 vols, 1791.
Works. 11 vols, 1805-10.