1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bray, Thomas

BRAY, THOMAS (1656–1730), English divine, was born at Marton, Shropshire, in 1656, and educated at All Souls’ College, Oxford. After leaving the university he was appointed vicar of Over-Whitacre, and rector of Sheldon in Warwickshire, where he wrote his famous Catechetical Lectures. Henry Compton, bishop of London, appointed him in 1696 as his commissary to organize the Anglican church in Maryland, and he was in that colony in 1699–1700. He took a great interest in colonial missions, especially among the American Indians, and it is to his exertions that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel owes its existence. He also projected a successful scheme for establishing parish libraries in England and America, out of which grew the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. From 1706 till his death in February 1730 he was rector of St Botolph-Without, Aldgate, London, being unceasingly engaged in philanthropic and literary pursuits.