Calcott, Wellins (DNB00)

CALCOTT, WELLINS (fl. 1756–1769), author, was a native of Shropshire, the son of a member of the corporation of Shrewsbury. All that is known of his personal history is gathered from the preface to one of his books, from which it appears that he was induced to become an author by reverses of fortune. He published two books by subscription, and was enabled thereby to make advances towards a restoration of a settled life. The first edition of his ‘Thoughts, Moral and Divine,’ was issued in London in 1756. A second edition was brought out at Birmingham in 1758; a third at Coventry in 1759; a fourth at Manchester in 1761; and a fifth at Exeter in 1764. In 1769 he published ‘A Candid Disquisition of the Principles and Practices of the most ancient and honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons,’ London, 8vo. This work is said to have been the means of leading many persons to join the society. It was reprinted in 1847 by Dr. George Oliver, who considered it the ‘gem of the period’ in which it was written.

[Notes and Queries, 4th ser. ii. 9; Oliver's Golden Remains of the Early Masonic Writers, vol. ii. 1847; Oliver's Revelations of a Square, 1855, p. 118; Temperance Spectator, 1866, p. 181.]

C. W. S.