Wright, Samuel

, an eminent dissenting clergyman, was born Jan. 30, 1682-3, being eldest son of Mr. James Wright, a nonconformist minister at Retford, in the county of Nottingham, by Mrs. Eleanor Cotton, daughter of Mr Cotton, a gentleman of Yorkshire, and sister to the rev. Mr. Thomas Cotton of Westminster, whose funeral-sermon his nephew preached and published. At eleven years old he lost his father, being then at school at Attercliffe, in Yorkshire, whence he removed to Darton, in the same county, under the care of his grandmother, and his uncle Cotton. At sixteen he studied under the care of the rev. Mr. Jollie, at Attercliffe, whom about the age of twentyone he quitted, and went to his uncle’s house at the Haigh, >!vhere he officiated as his chaplain and after his death he came to London, having preached only three or four sermons in the country. He lived a little while in his uncle’s family at St. Giles’s, and thence went to be chaplain to Jady Susannah Lort, at Turnham-green, and was chosen 10 preach the Sunday evening-lecture at Mr. Cotton’s, at St. Giles’s. Being soon after invited to assist Dr. Grosvenor at Crosby-square meeting, he quitted lady Lort and St. Giles’s, and was soon after chosen to carry on the evening-lecture in Southwark, in conjunction with the rev. Mr. Haman Hood, who soon quitting it, it devolved on Mr. Wright, then only twenty-three. On the death of Mr. Matthew Sylvester, 1708, he was chosen pastor of the congregation at Blackfriars, which increased considerably Under his care, and where he continued many years, till he removed to Carter- lane, which meeting-house was built for him, and opened by him Dec. 5, 1734, with a sermon on 2 Chron. vi. 40. His sermons, printed singly, amount | to near forty. But his most considerable work was iris? “Treatise on the New Birth, or, the being born again, without which it is impossible to enter into the kingdom of God,” which had gone through fifteen editions before his death. Dr. Wright is traditionally understood to have been the author of the song, “Happy Hours, all Hours excelling.” He was remarkable for the melody of his voice and the beauty of his elocution. Archbishop Herring, when a young man, frequently attended him as a model of delivery, not openly in the meeting house, but in a large porch belonging to the old place in Blackfriars. He married, in 1710, the widow of his predecessor, Mr. Sylvester, daughter of the rev. Mr. Obadiah Hughes, minister of the dissenting congregation at Enfield, aunt to the late Dr. Obadiah Hughes, by whom he had one son, since dead, a tradesman in the city, and one daughter, married to a citizen in Newgate-street, a most accomplished woman, but who became the victim of her own imprudence. He died April 3, 1746, at Newington-green, which was his residence. His funeral -sermon was preached at Carter-lane meeting by Dr. Milner and another at the same place, by Dr. Obadiah Hughes, who wrote his epitaph. 1

1 Wilson’s Hist, of Disssnting Churches. Nichols’s Bowyer.