John Jortin - Encyclopedia




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JOHN JORTIN (1698-1770), English theologian, the son of a Protestant refugee from Brittany, was born in London on the 23rd of October 1698. He went to Charterhouse School, and in 1715 became a pensioner of Jesus College, Cambridge, where his reputation as a Greek scholar led to his being selected to translate certain passages from Eustathius for the notes to Pope?s Homer. In 1722 he published a small volume of Latin verse entitled Lusus poetici. Having taken orders in 1724, he was in 1726 presented by his college to the vicarage of Swavesey in Cambridgeshire, which he resigned in 1730 to become preacher at a chapel-of-ease in New Street, London. In 1731, along with some friends, he began a publication entitled Miscellaneous Observations on Authors Ancient and Modern, which appeared at intervals during two years. He was Boyle lecturer in 1749. Shortly after becoming chaplain to the bishop of London in 1762 he was appointed to a prebendal stall of St Paul's and to the vicarage of Kensington, and in 1764 he was made archdeacon of London. He died at Kensington on the 5th of September 1770.

The principal works of Jortin are: Discussions Concerning the Truth of the Christian Religion (1746); Remarks on Ecclesiastical History (3 vols. 1751-2-4); Life of Erasmus (2 vols. 1750, 1760) founded on the Life by Jean Le Clerc; and Tracts Philological Critical and Miscellaneous (1790). A collection of his Various Works appeared in 1805-1810. All his writings display wide learning and acuteness. He writes on theological subjects with the detachment of a thoughtful layman, and is witty without being flippant. See John Disney's Life of Jortin (1792).

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