Tooke, John Horne

Tooke, John Horne an English clergyman, the son of John Horne, was born in Westminster, June 25, 1736, and was educated at Westminster and Eton schools and St. John's College, Cambridge, graduating in 1758. He became an usher in a school at Blackheath, took orders, and served as curate in Kent. In 1760 he received priest's orders, and for three years had charge of the chapelry of New Brentford. After going to France as traveling tutor to the son of Mr. Elwes, of Berkshire, he returned in 1767 and took an active interest in politics, laboring to secure the election of his friend Wilkes from Middlesex. He became (1769) one of the founders of the "Society for Supporting the Bill of Rights," but quarreled with Wilkes and was attacked by Junius, but successfully defended himself. In 1773 he formally resigned his living, designing to study law; and, rendering great assistance to a Mr. Tooke of Purley, in Surrey, was made by him his heir. He changed his name to Tooke in 1782, and received £8000 from the property. He opposed the American war, and, accusing the king's troops of barbarously murdering the Americans at Lexington, was convicted of libel, and sentenced to one year's imprisonment and a fine of £200. When released, he applied for admission to the bar, but was rejected on the ground of being a clergyman. In 1790 he was defeated as a candidate for Parliament, and in 1794 was tried for high-treason, but was acquitted. Defeated again in 1796, he succeeded in 1801 in being elected to the House of Commons for the borough of Old Sarum; and retained his seat till the dissolution in 1802, the decision of Parliament (that no one in priest's orders could be a member) disqualifying him from sitting again. He retired to Wimbledon, where he died, March 18, 1812. Mr. Tooke published, The Petition of an Englishman (1765): — Sermon (before 1773): — Letter to John Dunnaing (1778, 8vo): — Letter to Lord Ashburton (1782, 8vo): — ῎Επεα Πτερόεντα, or the Diversions of Purley (1786, 8vo): — and other pamphlets. See Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.; Chalmers, Biog. Dict. s.v.

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