Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Blake, William (1773-1821)

BLAKE, WILLIAM (1773–1821), dissenting minister, was born at Crewkerne on 29 March 1773, and was the second son of the Rev. William Blake (born on 7 July 1730, died on 29 March 1799), who had been a pupil of Doddridge at Northampton (1749), and who was presbyterian minister at Crewkerne from 1754 (ordained 11 May 1757) till 29 July 1798. His son William, also educated at Northampton in 1790 under Horsey, preached first at Yeovil in 1793, and, on his father's resignation, succeeded him at Crewkerne, where he remained till his death on 18 Feb. 1821. Rev. William Blake, jun., of Crewkerne, was the last presbyterian minister of his name, from a family conspicuous in the ministry of West of England dissent [see Blake, Malachi]. By his time the original Calvinism of the race had changed to Arianism, and he himself became humanitarian in his Christology. He was a man of wealth and influence. He published: 1. 'Devotional Services for the Public Worship of the One True God,' &c., Sherborne, 1812 (anonymous; eight services, with occasional and family prayers and 250 hymns). 2. 'Private Judgment,' Taunton, 1810 (sermon before Southern Unitarian Society). Like his father and grandfather he was twice married, and left descendants (the Blake pedigree is puzzling to trace from the constant recurrence of the same baptismal names). His elder brother, Malachi Blake, M.D., of Taunton, survived till 1843 ; his portrait is in the Taunton and Somerset Hospital, where the 'Blake Ward' is called from him.

[Blake pedigree, MS.; Monthly Repository, 1821; Murch's Hist. Presb. and Gen. Bapt. Churches in West of England, 1835, pp. 217, 245.]

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