Ibbot, Dr. Benjamin

, an ingenious and learned writer, and a judicious and useful preacher, son of the rev. Mr. Thomas Ibbot, vicar of Swaffham, and rector of Beachamwell, co. Norfolk, was born at Beachamwell in 1680. He was admitted of Clare-hall, Cambridge, July 25, 1695, under the tuition of the rev. Mr. Laughton, a gentleman justly celebrated for his eminent attainments in philosophy and mathematics, to whom the very learned Dr. Samuel Clarke generously acknowledged himself to be much indebted for many of the notes and illustrations inserted in his Latin version of “Rohault’s Philosophy.” Mr. Ibbot having taken the degree of B. A. 1699, removed to Corpus-Christi in 1700 and was made a scholar of that house. He commenced M.A. in 1703, and was elected into a Norfolk fellowship in 1706, but resigned it next year, having then happily obtained the patronage of archbishop Tenison. That excellent primate first took him into his family in the capacity of his librarian, and soon after appointed him his chaplain. | In 1708 the archbishop collated Ibbot to the treasurership of the cathedral church of Wells. He also presented him to the rectory of the united parishes of St. Vedast, alias Foster’s, and St. Michael le Querne. George I. appointed him one of his chaplains in ordinary in 1716; and when his majesty visited Cambridge, in Oct. 4 1717, Mr. Ibbot was by royal mandate created D. D. In 1713 and 1714, by the appointment of the archbishop, then the sole surviving trustee of the hon. Robert Boyle, our author preached the course of sermons for the lecture founded by him, and desired in his last will, that they should be printed. They bear evident marks of the solidity of his judgment, and are well adapted to his professed design of obviating by just reasoning, the insidious suggestions and abusive censures of Collins, in his “Discourse of Freethinking.” In these sermons the true notion of the exercise of private judgment, or free-thinking in matters of religion, is fairly and fully stated, the principal objections against it are answered, and the modern art of free-thinking, as treated by Collins, is judiciously refuted. Some time after, he was appointed assistant-preacher to Dr. Samuel Clarke, and rector of St. Paul’s, Shadwell. Upon his being installed a prebendary in the collegiate church of St. Peter, Westminster, in 1724, he retired to Camberwell, for the recovery of his health, which had been impaired by the fatigue of constant preaching to very numerous congregations, at a considerable distance from each other. Here he died April 5, 1725, in the forty-fifth year of his age, and was buried in Westminster- abbey. His sermons at Boyle’s lecture, were published in 1727, 8vo, and “Thirty Discourses on Practical Subjects” were selected from his manuscripts by his friend Dr. Clarke, and published for the benefit of his widow, 2 vols. 8vo, for which she was favoured with a large subscription. In 1719, Dr. Ibbot published a translation of Puffendorff’s treatise “De habitu religionis Christianas ad vitain civilem,” or of the relation between church and state, and how far Christian and civil life affect each other; with a preface giving some account of the book, and its use with regard to the controversies in agitation at that time, particularly the Bangorian. In 1775 were published, “Thirty-six discourses on Practical Subjects,” 2 vols. 8vo. This is a re-publication of the thirty discourses selected by Dr. Clarke, with the addition of six occasional discourses, and | a life of the author, by Dr. Flexman. There are some verses of Dr. Ibbot’s, in Dodsley’s Collection, vol. V. entitled “A fit of the Spleen,” in imitation of Shakspeare. 1


Life as above. Masters’s Hist, of C. C. C. C.