Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Johnson, John (d.1804)

JOHNSON, JOHN (d. 1804), dissenting minister, born near Norwich, was one of the first students of the Countess of Huntingdon's college at Trevecca, and a minister in her chapels. He settled at Wigan, Lancashire, and preached there and in neighbouring towns. On one occasion his preaching caused a riotous disturbance. He moved to Tyldesley in the same county, and then, at Lady Huntingdon's desire, went to America to superintend an orphan asylum founded by Whitefield. The state authorities refused to recognise him, and he and his wife were imprisoned for resisting the sheriff's officers. On returning to England he was imprisoned for debts incurred in the erection of his chapel at Tyldesley. He subsequently settled at Manchester as pastor of St. George's, Rochdale Road, where he gathered an appreciative congregation. He was a good Hebrew scholar, and on three occasions he preached to the Jews in that language. He published ‘The Levite's Journal,’ and a prospectus of a universal language. Other works were left in manuscript. He died at Manchester on 22 Sept. 1804.

[W. Roby's Funeral Sermon, Manchester, 1804; Axon's Annals of Manchester, p. 133.]

C. W. S.