Rees, Abraham, Dd
Rees, Abraham, D.D., a dissenting minister who held a distinguished rank in the literary and scientific world, was the son of a Welsh Nonconformist minister, and was born at Montgomery in 1743. Intended for the ministry, he was first placed under Dr. Jenkins, of Carmarthen, whence he was removed to the Hoxton Academy, founded by Mr. Coward, where his progress in his studies was so rapid that in his nineteenth year he was appointed mathematical tutor to the institution, and soon after resident tutor, in which capacity he continued upwards of twenty-two years. In 1768 he succeeded Mr. Read as pastor to the Presbyterian congregation of St. Thomas's, Southwark. On the death of Mr. White, in 1783. Rees accepted an invitation to become minister of a congregation in Jewin Street, Cripplegate, where he continued to officiate till the time of his death, June 9,1825. On the establishment of the dissenting seminary at Hackney in 1786, Dr. Rees, who had, in conjunction with Dr. Y. Savage and Kippis, seceded from that at Hoxton two years before, was elected to the situation of resident tutor in the natural sciences. This position he held till the dissolution of the academy, which took place on the death of Dr. Kippis (q.v.). It is, however, in a literary capacity that Dr. Rees is principally and most advantageously known. In 1776 he was appliedto by the proprietors of Chambers's Encyclopedia to superintend a new and enlarged edition of that valuable compilation, which, after nine years' incessant labor, he brought to a conclusion in four folio volumes. The success of this work stimulated the proprietors to still further exertions. A new undertaking, similar in its nature, but much more comprehensive in its plan, and printed in quarto size, was projected and carried on by him; and he had at length the satisfaction to see the new Cyclopedia, now generally known by his name, advance from the publication of the first volume in 1802 to its completion in forty-five volumes with undiminished reputation. His other works, besides those of a secular character, are, Practical Sermons (1809-12, 2 vols.): — The Principles of the Protestant Dissenters Stated and Vindicated: — besides a variety of occasional discourses. See Jones,
Christian Biography, p. 357; Annual Biography, 1825; London Gentleman's Magazine, 1825.