Bradstreet, Simon

Bradstreet, Simon a Congregational minister, was born in New London, Connecticut, in 1669. He was a grandson of Simon Bradstreet, one of the most distinguished of the pilgrim fathers, and for many years governor of Massachusetts; and son of the Simon Bradstreet who was pastor of the Church in New London in 1670. The subject of this sketch graduated at Harvard College in 1693; and was called to be assistant minister, in March 1697, of the Church in Charlestown. He declined this invitation, but in May 1698, when the pastorate of that Church was vacant, he was ordained minister there, October 26, 1698. For fifteen years he performed the duties alone, but in 1713 the town gave him a colleague, the Reverend Joseph Stevens of Andover, who died in 1721. For over two years after this, Mr. Bradstreet was without a regular assistant; in February 1724, the Reverend Hull Abbot became his assistant; in October 1739, the Reverend Thomas Prentice was installed as associate pastor. Mr. Bradstreet died in Charlestown, December 31, 1741. It is said that he was a very learned man, possessed of a tenacious memory and a lively imagination, but subject to a hypochondria to such an extent that for several years before his death he was afraid to preach in the pulpit. Accordingly, his sermons were delivered in the deacon's seat, and were frequently melancholy effusions upon the vanity of the world. Seldom, if ever, did he appear with a coat, but always with a plaid gown and with a pipe in his mouth. Gov. Burnet spoke of him as one of the first literary characters and one of the best preachers he had met in America. See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 1:241.

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