Winchester, Thomas

, a learned English divine, was the son of a reputable surgeon at Farringdon, in the county of Berks, where he was born. He was educated at Magdalen-college, Oxford, as a chorister and demy; proceeded M.A. in 1736, B. D. in 1747, and D. D. in 174-9. In July 1747 he was elected fellow, having been for some years before, as he was afterwards, a considerable tutor in the college. In 1761 he resigned his fellowship, on being presented by the society to the rectory of Appleton, Berkshire, at a small distance from his native place; and in the same year, June 10, he married Lucretia Townson, sister of Thomas Townson, rector of Malpas, Cheshire, who had also been fellow of Magdalen-college. She died-at Appleton, greatly esteemed and lamented, Jan. 26, 1772. Five years afterwards he married Jennett, widow of his fellowcollegian, Richard Lluellyn, B. D. and sister of the late Thomas Lewis, esq, of Frederick’s-place, London, one of the directors of the Bank of England. To the sincere and lasting regret of all who knew him, he was seized with a paralytic stroke, which proved fatal May 17, 1780, and was buried in the chancel of his own church, near the remains of his wife. His only preferment, besides the rectory of Appleton, was the curacy of Astley-chapel, near Arbury, Warwickshire, a donative given him by his esteemed friend sir Roger Newdigate, bart.

His talents,” says his biographer, “if not splendid, were sound and good, his attainments various and useful and he was a true son of the Church of England. He resided constantly on his living; where by his preaching and example, he brought to conformity some of the very few | dissenters in his parish. He took a most cordial interest in the temporal and spiritual concerns of his parishioners; and having studied anatomy, and being well skilled in medicine, he was, according to the pattern of the excellent Mr. Herbert’s Country Parson,' physician of the body as well as the soul, to his flock.

Dr. Winchester paid great attention to such controversies in his time as concerned the doctrine and discipline of the church, and contributed some valuable remarks to contemporary writers who were more particularly involved in these disputes. He also wrote some letters in the Gentleman’s Magazine on the Confessional controversy, and topics arising from it. The only separate publication from his pen was published, but without his name, in 1773, under the title of “A Dissertation on the XVIIth article of the Church of England; wherein the sentiments of the compilers, and other contemporary reformers, on the subject of the divine decrees, are fully deduced from their own writings, to which is subjoined a short tract, ascertaining the reign and time in which the royal declaration before the XXXIX articles was first published.” This work was reprinted in 1803, on occasion of the controversy being revived by Mr. Overton, “with emendations from the author’s corrected copy, and the addition of a biographical preface.” The latter is written by the rev. archdeacon Churton, and to it we are indebted for the preceding particulars. 1

1 Biog. Preface, as above.