Lindsey, Theophilus

Theophilus Lindsey (1723-1808), after resigning his living in the Church of England following the failure of the Feathers Tavern Petition in 1772, became one of the leading Unitarians (“rational dissenters”) of his day and founder of the influential Unitarian congregation in Essex Street, London, where he ministered from 1778 to 1793, turning pastoral duties over to his assistant, John Disney.  In the 1780s he was a correspondent of the poet, Mary Scott (1751-93) and her brother, the Unitarian minister Russell Scott, and in the 1790s of Mary Hays. Lindsey authored several defenses of Unitarianism, including his controversial reply to Robert Robinson’s Plea for the divinity of Christ (1776) entitled A historical view of the state of the Unitarian doctrine and worship from the Reformation to our own time, with some account of the obstructions it has met with at different periods (1783).  He also wrote An Apology on Resigning the Vicarage of Catterick, Yorkshire (1774) and its sequel in 1776.  For Lindsey's complete correspondence, see The Letters of Theophilus Lindsey, ed. Grayson Ditchfield, 2 vols (Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Church of England Record Society, 2007-12).