Rev. John Free

John Nichols, in Literary Anecdotes of the XVIII Century (1812-15) 5:687-91.

The Rev. Dr. John Free was a native of Oxford, born July 1711; and lived to be father of that city, and senior Doctor of the University; having been early entered at Christ Church, Oxford, where he acted as Chaplain, and proceeded M.A. in 1733. Thence he removed to Hartford College. In 1742 he was chosen lecturer of St. James Garlickhithe, and took the degrees of B.D. and D.D in 1744. In 1747, being then Vice-principal of St. Alban-hall, he was elected Master of the Grammar-school of St. Saviour, Southwark. He held the vicarage of East Coker in the county of Somerset, 1756; in 1768 was chosen Lecturer of Newington in Surrey, and had also the Thursday Lecture of St. Mary at Hill, founded by sir J. Leman, bart. Of his controversy with Mr. Jones, Chaplain of St. Saviour, Southwark, begun by his Rules to discover false Prophets; see Jones's letter to him; his Remarks on Jones's Letter to him, dedicated to Bishop Hoadly; and Answer to them by a Layman. June 15, 1759, he published Proposals for Printing by Subscription, in one volume 8vo, Dr. Free's whole Controversy with the Methodists. In 1788 he addressed a Letter to Dr. John Moore, Archbishop of Canterbury, representing the many services he had rendered to Church and State; with the distress he then experienced, in his 77th year; and requesting the Archbishop's interference with Mr. Pitt in his behalf. Dr. Free died, at his chambers in Lyon's Inn, Sept. 9, 1791; and amongst his papers were found an Epitaph, which he had written for himself.