The Reverend Thomas Seaton (baptised 2 October 1684, Stamford, Lincolnshire, died 18 August 1741 at Ravenstone, Buckinghamshire), was a Church of England clergyman and religious writer. Seaton died unmarried in 1741 at Ravenstone and is buried there.
He was educated at Stamford School and Clare College, Cambridge, graduating a BA in 1705 and a MA in 1708.
Seaton was elected a fellow of Clare College in 1706 and continued as a Fellow until 1721. He was ordained as a deacon in 1707 and priest of the Church of England in 1709.
He became chaplain to Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham. In 1713, he gained the vicarage of Madingley, Cambridgeshire, and in 1721 the city of Nottingham gave him the vicarage of Ravenstone in Buckinghamshire, which enabled him to give up his college fellowship with which he retained until his death.
In one of his works, The Conduct of Servants in Great Families (1720), he advised employers to oversee the moral conduct of their servants.
On his death, Seaton left his estate at Kislingbury, Northamptonshire, to the University of Cambridge, with the object of funding an annual poetry prize for a poem in English on the nature of God or on another sacred subject, the judges to be the university's Vice-chancellor, the Professor of Greek, and the Master of Clare College. The Seatonian Prize has been awarded annually since 1750, apart from the years 1766, 1769, and 1771. Musae Seatonianæ includes most of the prize poems.
George Gordon, Lord Byron, another Cambridge graduate, refers to recipients of the celebrated university prize as "Seaton's sons" in his poem English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809).
Seaton wrote several works, which included:
John Strype was an English clergyman, historian and biographer.
Ravenstone is a village and civil parish in the Borough of Milton Keynes, (ceremonial) Buckinghamshire, England. The village is about 2.5 miles (4 km) west of Olney, and 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Newport Pagnell and the northern boundary of the Milton Keynes urban area. The 2011 Census recorded the parish population as 209.
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The Seatonian Prize is awarded by the University of Cambridge for the best English poem on a sacred subject. This prize has been awarded annually since 1750 and is open to any Master of Arts of the university. Lord Byron referred to this prize in his 1809 poem entitled 'English Bards and Scots Reviewers.' The prize is still awarded annually, with a deadline of 30 September each year. It is open to all members of the Senate of the University of Cambridge, and all persons who are possessors of the status of Masters of Arts.
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