Gifford, Andrew

Variant last names: Giffords
honorificDr.
Birth: August 17, 1700 in Bristol, England
Death: June 19, 1784 in London, England
Affiliation:

Eagle Street Baptist Church; fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; assistant Librarian at the British Museum

Education:

Samuel Jones's academy, Tewkesbury; Dr John Ward at Gresham College; DD, Marischal College, Aberdeen (1754).

Faith:

Baptist

Nationality:

English

Occupation:

minister

Residence:

Nottingham (from 1725 to 1726)

Bristol (from 1727-02 to 1730)

London (from 1730-01 to 1784-06-19)

Events:

Fundraising Tour of Great Britain

Marital status:

Gifford married Martha Ware of Chesham in 1729; their two sons died in infancy, and Martha died in December 1732. He then married Grace Paynter in 1737. She brought him a fortune of £6000, and their one child died in infancy; she died on November 28, 1762.

Biography:

Andrew Gifford was the leading Baptist minister in England in the 18th century. He was born in Bristol, the son of Emmanuel Gifford (1673–1723), a Baptist minister, and his wife, Eleanor Lancaster (1662–1738); and grandson of Andrew Gifford, also a Bristol Baptist minister. He served as a Baptist minister in Nottingham (1725–1726) and Bristol (1727-1729). In January 1730, Gifford became Baptist minister at Little Wild Street, London, but was ostracized because of charges of sodomy that were never proven, and in 1736, he formed a new congregation in Eagle Street, where he remained as pastor for the rest of his life. Also a noted coin collector, he was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and was appointed assistant librarian in the British Museum in 1757. With the fortune of his second wife, Gifford encouraged an educated Baptist ministry through his support of Bristol Baptist College. His unusual combination of Calvinist theology with evangelical passion made him a partisan of George Whitefield, whose "Eighteen Sermons" (1771) Gifford edited; it was a volume that sold widely in England and America. He also supported Wheelock's missionary efforts; in his "Narrative" for June 1764, Wheelock records that Gifford sent the school “a neat Pair of Globes, and a valuable Collection of Books," and appeals to him for help in advancing the School's interests in London. Gifford was one of several prominent clergymen who befriended Occom and Whitaker on their fundraising tour in England. Occom records hearing Gifford preach, preaching at his church, and dining and lodging at his house. A measure of Occom's affection for Gifford is that he and Mary Occom named their youngest son Andrew Gifford (b 1774 in Mohegan).

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Sources:

McCallum, James Dow, ed. The Letters of Eleazar Wheelock's Indians. Hanover: Dartmouth College Publications, 1932; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. "Andrew Gifford." http://odnb2.ifactory.com/view/article/10657?docPos=&backToResults=%2Fsearch%2Fresults%2Fcontributors.jsp%3FcontributorId%3D39279