Disney, John

John Disney (1746-1816) became one of the more prominent Unitarian ministers in London between 1780 and his death in 1816.  He entered Peterhouse college, Cambridge, where John Jebb was a tutor, in 1764, and moved among the Latitudinarians during his time there, and was ordained in 1768. He joined Jebb, Disney and other Unitarians in supporting the Feather's Tavern Petition in 1772. He remained an Anglican clergyman until 1782, when he resigned and joined Lindsey as his assistant at the Essex Street Chapel in London. The next year he became secretary of the Unitarian Society for Promoting the Knowledge of the Scriptures. In 1793, upon Lindsey's retirement, Disney became senior pastor at Essex Street. Upon his receiving a large bequest of property (about £5000 a year) through the estate of Thomas Brand Hollis, Disney resigned in 1805 and removed to The Hyde, an estate near Ingatestone, Essex, the same location from whence Elizabeth Hays's letter to Mary Hays in 1801 is addressed. Disney was succeeded at Essex Street by Thomas Belsham. He authored numerous works and memoirs of Jebb and Edmund Law. Two volumes of his sermons appeared in 1793 and two more in 1816, all demonstrating his allegiance to Socinianism.