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Warburton, William

Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405156691.2011.x


Warburton, William (1698–1779), clergyman and scholar, was born in Newark, Nottinghamshire, the son of an attorney, George Warburton (d. 1706) and his wife, Elizabeth, née Holman (d. 1749). He was educated at a school in Newark and subsequently trained and practiced as an attorney there. In 1723 he published Miscellaneous Translations, in Prose and Verse, from Poets, Orators and Historians . He took holy orders, and was helped onto the clerical ladder by the dedicatee of the volume, Sir Robert Sutton (1671/2–1746), MP for Nottinghamshire. He was a friend of David *Hartley and, initially, of Matthew *Concanen and Lewis *Theobald. Warburton contributed notes to Theobald's editorial work on Shakespeare, and was originally a (covert) antagonist of Alexander *Pope. In 1727 Warburton published his first controversial work, on historical accounts of miracles, and in 1736 an influential tract, The Alliance of Church and State . The first volume of his major work of religious scholarship, The Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated , appeared in 1737, with a second volume, dedicated to Lord *Chesterfield, in 1741. It was recognized as a hugely learned and provocative work, with a wide European influence. Among those who admired it was Pope, to whom Warburton had by now made himself agreeable by defending the theological orthodoxy of his Essay on Man in letters published as A Vindication ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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