Thomas Gisborne

Last updated

Thomas Gisborne
Detail The Rev. and Mrs. Thomas Gisborne, of Yoxhall Lodge, Leicestershire.jpg
Detail from 1786 Joseph Wright painting
Born31 October 1758
Bridge Gate, Derby
Died24 March 1846(1846-03-24) (aged 87)
Education Harrow and entered St John's College
Occupationdivine
Spouse(s)Mary Babington
Childreneight
Parent(s)John and Ann Gisborne

Thomas Gisborne (31 October 1758 – 24 March 1846) was an English Anglican priest and poet. He was a member of the Clapham Sect, who fought for the abolition of the slave trade in England.

Contents

Life

Gisborne was born at Bridge Gate, Derby, the son of John Gisborne of Yoxhall Lodge in Needwood Forest, Staffordshire and his wife Anne Bateman. He was educated at Harrow and entered St John's College, Cambridge in 1776, where he established lifelong friendships with William Wilberforce and Thomas Babington. At Cambridge, he became the first Chancellor's medallist in 1780. [1]

In 1783 he became curate of Barton-under-Needwood, and later that year inherited Yoxall Lodge, Staffordshire, which was 3 miles from the church. The next year he married Mary Babington (b. 1760), only sister of Thomas Babington. They had six sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Thomas Gisborne (1794–1852), became a member of parliament, and the fourth son, James, a clergyman, succeeded his father as perpetual curate of Barton in 1820. [2]

Gisborne was a central figure in the Clapham Sect, an abolitionist group which included William Wilberforce and Gisborne's brother-in-law Thomas Babington. Yoxall Lodge acted as a major focus of the group, and Wilberforce was a frequent visitor there. [3]

Gisborne was appointed prebendary of Durham Cathedral in 1823. He died at Yoxall Lodge on 24 March 1846 at the age of eighty-seven. [4] Gisborne left money for an annual scholarship at the University of Durham, which is referred to as the Gisborne Scholarship. [5]

Writing

Thomas and Mary Gisborne in a 1786 painting by Joseph Wright of Derby. Thomas Gisborne Joseph Wright Derby.jpg
Thomas and Mary Gisborne in a 1786 painting by Joseph Wright of Derby.

Gisborne's Principles of Moral Philosophy (1789) was a forceful evangelical attack on William Paley's Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy (1785), an influential work studied at both Cambridge and Oxford Universities, arguing morality as a categorical imperative against Paley's utilitarian standpoint. Gisborne also wrote Enquiry into the Duties of Men (1795) and Enquiry into the Duties of the Female Sex (1797) stressing subordination to the divinely imposed social hierarchy. His Walks in a Forest (1794) was a book of poems describing the scenery of Needwood Forest, which bordered his estate at Yoxall. [6]

Scriptural geologist

A scriptural geologist, Gisborne wrote two books which criticised the trend of geology away from a basis in the Bible: Testimony of Natural Theology to Christianity (1818) and Considerations on Modern Theories of Geology (1837).

Published works

Hymns

Footnotes

  1. "Gisborne, Thomas (GSBN776T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. Hole 2004
  3. Hole 2004
  4. Hole 2004
  5. Durham University Calendar, 1916–17. 1917. p. 273.
  6. Hole 2004
  7. "Sermons Vol. 1 at Google Books

Related Research Articles

William Paley Christian apologist, natural theologian, utilitarian

William Paley was an English clergyman, Christian apologist, philosopher, and utilitarian. He is best known for his natural theology exposition of the teleological argument for the existence of God in his work Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, which made use of the watchmaker analogy.

William Wilberforce English politician

William Wilberforce was a British politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming an independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Yorkshire (1784–1812). In 1785, he became an evangelical Christian, which resulted in major changes to his lifestyle and a lifelong concern for reform.

The Clapham Sect or Clapham Saints were a group of Church of England social reformers based in Clapham, London, at the beginning of the 19th century.

Barton-under-Needwood village in United Kingdom

Barton-under-Needwood is a large village in Staffordshire, England, a mile from the A38 between Burton upon Trent and Lichfield. It has a population of approximately 5,000 and serves as a commuter centre for many residents working in Lichfield, Tamworth and Burton or further afield in Derby and Birmingham.

In moral philosophy, deontological ethics or deontology is the normative ethical theory that the morality of an action should be based on whether that action itself is right or wrong under a series of rules, rather than based on the consequences of the action. It is sometimes described as duty-, obligation- or rule-based ethics. Deontological ethics is commonly contrasted to consequentialism, virtue ethics, and pragmatic ethics. In this terminology, action is more important than the consequences.

Henry Thornton (reformer) British politician

Henry Thornton was an English economist, banker, philanthropist and parliamentarian.

Zachary Macaulay Scottish statistician, abolitionist, governor of Sierra Leone, founder of University of London (1768-1838)

Zachary Macaulay was a Scottish statistician, one of the founders of London University and of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, an antislavery activist, and governor of Sierra Leone, the British colony for freed slaves. Like his famous son Thomas Macaulay, he divided the world into civilisation and barbarism with Britain representing the high point of civilisation because of its adherence to Christianity. He worked endlessly to end the slave trade and to Christianize and improve the world.

Yoxall village in United Kingdom

Yoxall is a large village in Staffordshire, England. It is on the banks of the River Swarbourn on the A515 road north of Lichfield and south west of Burton upon Trent. South of the village, Yoxall Bridge crosses the River Trent.

Edmund Law British bishop

Edmund Law was a priest in the Church of England. He served as Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, as Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy in the University of Cambridge from 1764 to 1769, and as bishop of Carlisle from 1768 to 1787.

Thomas Gisborne was an English Whig and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1830 and 1852.

Basil Montagu was a British jurist, barrister, writer and philanthropist. He was educated in Charterhouse School and studied law in Cambridge, later wrote and worked on reforms in bankruptcy laws of Britain. He served as Accountant-General in Bankruptcy between 1835 and 1846. He was highly influenced by the writings of Francis Bacon. He was the son of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, and his mistress, singer Martha Ray.

Kantian ethics Ethical theory of Immanuel Kant

Kantian ethics refers to a deontological ethical theory ascribed to the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. The theory, developed as a result of Enlightenment rationalism, is based on the view that the only intrinsically good thing is a good will; an action can only be good if its maxim—the principle behind it—is duty to the moral law. Central to Kant's construction of the moral law is the categorical imperative, which acts on all people, regardless of their interests or desires. Kant formulated the categorical imperative in various ways. His principle of universalizability requires that, for an action to be permissible, it must be possible to apply it to all people without a contradiction occurring. Kant's formulation of humanity, the second section of the Categorical Imperative, states that as an end in itself humans are required never to treat others merely as a means to an end, but always, additionally, as ends in themselves. The formulation of autonomy concludes that rational agents are bound to the moral law by their own will, while Kant's concept of the Kingdom of Ends requires that people act as if the principles of their actions establish a law for a hypothetical kingdom. Kant also distinguished between perfect and imperfect duties. A perfect duty, such as the duty not to lie, always holds true; an imperfect duty, such as the duty to give to charity, can be made flexible and applied in particular time and place.

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (EPM) is a book by Scottish enlightenment philosopher David Hume. In it, Hume argues that the foundations of morals lie with sentiment, not reason.

Thomas Rawson Birks British priest and academic

Thomas Rawson Birks was an English theologian and controversialist, who figured in the debate to try to resolve theology and science. He rose to be Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. His discussions led to much controversy: in one book he proposed that stars cannot have planets as this would reduce the importance of Christ's appearance on this planet.

Needwood Forest Ancient forest in England

Needwood Forest was a large area of ancient woodland in Staffordshire which was largely lost at the end of the 18th century.

John Law DD (1745–1810) was an English mathematician and clergyman who began his career as a Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, and went on to become chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Church of Ireland bishop of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh (1782–1787), Killala and Achonry (1787–1795), and finally of Elphin (1795–1810).

Matthew Henry Kramer is an American philosopher, currently Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. He writes mainly in the areas of metaethics, normative ethics, legal philosophy, and political philosophy. He is a leading proponent of legal positivism. He has been Director of the Cambridge Forum for Legal and Political Philosophy since 2000. He has been teaching at Cambridge University and at Churchill College since 1994.

Byrkley Lodge

Byrkley Lodge was a country house and later racing horse stud farm, located close to Burton on Trent, Staffordshire. Demolished in 1953, its former grounds are today the site of the St George's Park National Football Centre.

Babington family

Babington is the name of an Anglo-Irish and English gentry family. The Anglo-Irish branch of the family is still extant today.

David Brown (1763–1812) was an English chaplain in Bengal and founder of the Calcutta Bible Society.

References