Ford, William

honorific(s): Mr.
Death: April 26, 1778 in Islington, London

Church of Castle Hedingham


for ministry by Dr. Thomas Ridgley and Mr. John Eames of London







  • Castle Hedingham, Essex (from 1732 to 1773)
  • Islington, London (from 1773 to 1778-04-26)

Fundraising Tour of Great Britain

Marital status

Married and had three sons: William, who became a well known minister of the Independent denomination at Miles’s-lane, London; John (1740-1806), who became an eminent physician and occasional preacher in George Whitefiled’s Tabernacle; and Webb.


William Ford was descended from a long line of dissenting ministers and martyrs. His mother, the daughter of an eminent nonconformist, Reverend Nathaniel Vincent, married a successful London merchant named Mr. Ford. They had two sons, John and William, who both became distinguished dissenting ministers. John was pastor of several congregations at Sudbury, in Suffolk, from 1729 until his death in 1750. William was educated for the ministry in London under Dr. Thomas Ridgley and Mr. John Eames. He then served as chaplain to the family of Sir Daniel Dolins at Hackney and preached around London. On December 18, 1730 he was ordained as minister at Haberdasher’s-Hall with another young minister, Mr. Samuel Parks, who afterwards settled at Oxford. In May 1732, Ford received a call from the Independent church at Castle Hedingham, in Essex, which he joined that summer. He served there for more than 40 years. Ford's congregation at Castle Hedingham was large, around 700, and he was noted for never having preached twice from same text. At the end of 1773, he had a paralytic seizure; he soon left his post, and died at Islington, London, on 26 April 1778. Occom and Whitaker preached at Ford's church on their fundraising tour of England in the Fall of 1767 and Wheelock recorded the amount collected from the congregation in his "Narrative" for that year.


Wilson, Walter. History and Antiquities of Dissenting Churches and Meeting Houses, in London, Westminster, and Southwark: Including the Lives of Their Ministers, from the Rise of Nonconformity to the Present Time: with an Appendix on the Origin, Progress, and Present State of Christianity in Britain. 4 vols. London: vol. 3 1810; ebook: