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GRUNDY, JOHN (1782–1843), Unitarian minister, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Grundy, was born in 1782 at Hinckley, Leicestershire, where his father was a hosier. He was baptised on 12 May 1783 by Thomas Belsham [q. v.] He was educated at Bristol by his uncle, John Prior Estlin [q. v.] In September 1797 he entered Manchester College under Thomas Barnes, D.D. (1747-1810) [q. v.], with an exhibition from the presbyterian fund, but returned to Bristol in the following year and completed his studies for the ministry under Estlin's direction. His first settlement was at Churchgate Street Chapel, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, to which charge he was invited on 19 Feb. 1804. At the end of 1806 he removed to Nottingham as colleague to James Tayler at the High Pavement Chapel, where he was active as a controversialist and as an advocate of Unitarian views. Grundy was elected co-pastor at Cross Street Chapel, Manchester, on 14 Sept. 1818. His controversial preaching alienated some older members of the congregation, who 'had much of primitive puritanism' among them. But in this place many were attracted to doctrinal lectures, which 'created in the town such a religious ferment as it had never before witnessed.' 'Grundy and no devil for ever' was chalked on the walls of his meeting-house. In 1811 he published a sermon, 'Christianity an Intellectual and Individual Religion,' which he had preached on 20 Oct. at the opening of a new chapel in Renshaw Street, Liverpool. A note on the growth of unitarian opinion in Boston, U.S., was added; this led to a correspondence with a Boston minister, Francis Parkman (afterwards D.D.)

In 1824 he accepted an invitation to succeed John Yates and Pendlebury Houghton [q. v.] at Paradise Street Chapel, Liverpool. Before leaving Manchester (September 1824) he was presented with a service of plate (cf. 'Manchester Gazette,' 14 Aug.) A speech at a public farewell dinner by George Harris (1794-1859) [q. v.] produced a long and acrimonious discussion in the public press (in which Grundy took no part), known as the Manchester Socinian controversy, and was followed by the Hewley suit [see Hewley, Sarah]. In 1832 Mr. James Martineau (now D.D.) became Grundy's colleague in Liverpool. Failing health led to Grundy's resignation in 1835. He retired to Chideock, near Bridport, Dorsetshire, where he died on 9 May 1843. He was buried in the graveyard of the Unitarian Chapel, Bridport; a memorial sermon by Martineau speaks of their connection as unmarred 'by any ungentle word or thought.' His portrait (in the possession of the present writer) has been more than once engraved. In 1810 he married Anne (d. at Kenilworth, 10 Nov. 1855, aged 76), daughter of John Hancock of Nottingham, and had four sons and four daughters. His son Francis Henry (d. 6 Dec. 1889, aged 67) was the author of 'Pictures of the Past,' 1879, in which are some reminiscences of Branwell Brontë. His eldest daughter, Maria Anne (d. 17 Aug. 1871, aged 61), married Swinton Boult [q. v.]

Besides some sermons, he published: 1. ‘Outline of Lectures on the Evidences of the Christian Religion,’ Manchester, 1812, 12mo. 2. ‘Evangelical Christianity,’ &c., 1814, 8vo, 2 vols. 3. ‘A Statement,’ &c., Manchester, 1823, 8vo (anon.; reply to strictures in the ‘Blackburn Mail’). 4. ‘The Reciprocal Duties of Ministers and Congregations,’ &c., Liverpool, 1824, 8vo. Martineau describes his polemical writings as 'clear, mild, judicious;' he resisted many temptations to engage in personal controversy.

[Monthly Repository, 1812, pp. 198, 264, 498, 1813, p. 478; Belsham's Memoirs of Lindsey, 1812, p. 274; Manchester Socinian Controversy (Hadfield), 1825; Christian Reformer, 1843; Thom's Liverpool Churches and Chapels, 1854, p. 63; Bunting's Life of Jabez Bunting, 1859, i. 44; Carpenter's Presbyterianism in Nottingham [1860], p. 178; Roll of Students,Manchester New College, 1868; Inquirer, 1869, p. 276; Halley's Lancashire Nonconformity, 1869, ii. 435; Browne's Hist. Congr. Norf. and Suff. 1877, p. 421; Wade's Rise of Nonconformity in Manchester, 1880, p. 49; Baker's Memorials of a Diss. Chapel [Cross Street, Manchester], 1884, pp. 50, 147; extract from baptismal register of Great Meeting, Hinckley, at Somerset House; tombstones at Bridport and Kenilworth; private information.]

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