Jonsson, Finn

Jonsson, Finn (known also by the Latin name of Finnus Johannoeus), the historian of the Icelandic Church and literature, was born on the 16th of January, 1704, at Hitardal, in Iceland, where his father, Jon Haldorsson, was minister. He was educated at the School of Skalholt, and in 1725 passed to the University of Copenhagen. On his return to Iceland his intention was to become a lawyer, but the death of his uncle, a parish priest, who left behind him a numerous family of small children, led his father to request him to alter his views to the Church, that he might bring up the orphans. He obtained the vacant benefice, brought up the family, married, and in 1754 was appointed to the bishopric of Skalholt. He was very attentive to the revenues of his diocese, and the account of his episcopate by Petursson is chiefly occupied with his disputes with refractory tenants of Church property. He died on the 23d of July, 1789. He composed several works in Latin and Icelandic, especially a Historia Ecclesiastica Islandioe, first published with valuable additions by his son Finnson (Copenhagen, 1772-8, 4 vols. 4to), and continued by Petursson down to 1840 (ib. 1841), a valuable and interesting work, embracing the literary as well as ecclesiastical affairs of Iceland. — English Cyclop. s.v.

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