Fox, William Johnson

Fox, William Johnson an English Unitarians minister, and also a politician, was born at Uggleshall Farm, near Wrentham, Suffolk, in 1786, the son of a. small farmer. In youth he gave promise of talent, and was dedicated to the Christian ministry, and; studied at Homerton College, then under the direction of Dr. Pye Smith. He soon abandoned the orthodox Independents, and became first a Unitarian, and later "a deistical heresiarch, who preached more on politics than on religion." His chapel at Finsbury Square. was filled by auditors attracted by his eloquence and his spirit of philanthropy. Politics at last became more attractive to him than preaching, and in 1847 he entered Parliament, in which he held a seat for Oldham until 1862, when failing health compelled him to resign. He died June 3, 1864. He was a man of literary tastes, and was a frequent contributor to the Westminster Review and to the Retrospective Review. His peculiar theological views are set forth in his Religious Ideas (Lond. 1849). He also published Lectures on Morality (1836, 8vo). These, with other writings of his, are collected in Memorial Edition of the Works of W.J. Fox (Lond. 1865, 2 volumes, 8vo).

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