Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gough, Strickland
GOUGH, STRICKLAND (d. 1752), controversial writer, son of Strickland and Elizabeth Gough, was born at Bristol. Strickland Gough (d. 1718?), the father, assistant presbyterian minister at Lewin's Mead, Bristol, from 1699, was dismissed in 1708. He was immediately elected colleague to John Catcott in the Tucker Street presbyterian congregation, Bristol. He died about 1718. He published:
- ‘Sermons on Effectual Calling,’ &c., 1709, 8vo.
- ‘A Discourse Occasion'd by the Small-Pox,’ &c. (not seen); also ordination (Joseph Denham, 1713), accession (1714), and thanksgiving (1715) sermons, and a sermon (1717) on the rebellion, dedicated to Sir Robert and Lady Thornhill in return for their ‘many favours.’
The younger Strickland Gough was educated (apparently in London) for the presbyterian ministry. He became a preacher in London, but was probably not ordained, and held no charge. In 1730 he published anonymously an ‘enquiry’ into the causes of the decline of dissent, which attracted much attention, and was answered by Philip Doddridge [q. v.] As a layman Gough criticises the dissenting ministry on two grounds: they humour the prejudices of their people, and ‘they worship God for twenty minutes and dictate to men for sixty.’ The dissenters, he complains, are ignorant of their own principles, and hence discourage free inquiry. At the same time he inveighs against the terms of admission to the established church. Shortly after this publication he conformed. Gough obtained the degree of M.A., and became rector of Swayfield and vicar of Swinstead, Lincolnshire. He seems to have been non-resident, as his name does not appear in the registers. He died 13 Dec. 1752.
- ‘An Enquiry into the Causes of the Decay of the Dissenting Interest,’ &c., 1730, 8vo (anon.)
- ‘A Critical Disputation,’ &c., 1742, 8vo (on 1 Cor. xi. 10).
- ‘A Protestant Catechism,’ &c., 1746, 8vo.
- ‘A Discussion of … Questions between Papists and Protestants,’ &c., 1747, 8vo, 1751, 8vo.
- ‘Sixteen Sermons,’ &c., 1751, 8vo (appended is a reissue of No. 2). Also separate sermons in 1733 and 1745.
[Calamy's Own Life, 1830, ii. 504; Murch's Hist. Presb. and Gen. Bapt. Churches in West of Engl. 1835, pp. 102, 106 sq.; Evans's List (see James's Lists and Classifications of Presb. and Indep. Ministers, 1866, p. 32); Wilson's Manuscripts in Dr. Williams's Library; information from the Revs. R. Cooper, Swayfield, and B. G. Jarrett, Swinstead.]