Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Kimber, Isaac

KIMBER, ISAAC (1692–1755), general baptist minister, biographer, and journalist, was born at Wantage, Berkshire, on 1 Dec. 1692. He studied languages under John Ward, LL.D., professor of rhetoric at Gresham College, and went through a course of philosophy and divinity under John Eames [q. v.] His first settlement was early in 1722, as assistant to Joseph Burroughs [q. v.], at Paul's Alley, Barbican. He was a dull preacher, and very near-sighted, eventually losing the sight of one eye. He left Paul's Alley on 28 June 1724, and became assistant to Samuel Acton at Nantwich, Cheshire. Here he published (1727) a funeral sermon for Mrs. Milton, who is said to have been the third wife of the poet John Milton, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edward Minshull, who died at Nantwich March 1727. Milton's widow was certainly a member of his congregation, but her identity with the subject of the sermon has been disputed, as there were two other ladies of the same surname at Nantwich. He left Nantwich in 1727, and became assistant at the general baptist congregation in Old Artillery Lane, London, and also at a neighbouring congregation. On the amalgamation of the two places his services were dispensed with, and he left the active ministry. He started a periodical called ‘The Morning Chronicle,’ which lasted from January 1728 to May 1732. In 1734 Ward made over his school near Moorfields to Kimber and Edward Sandercock, but the school declined in a few years, and Kimber gave it up and took to writing for the booksellers, editing Ainsworth's ‘Latin Dictionary’ in 1751. He died of apoplexy early in 1755; his funeral sermon was preached at Paul's Alley by Burroughs on 9 Feb. He was unfortunate in his marriage, his wife being insane for twenty-three years. His son Edward is separately noticed.

Among his publications were: 1. ‘The Life of Oliver Cromwell,’ &c., 1724, 8vo (six editions); a French translation appeared in 1725. 2. ‘An Abridgement of the History of England,’ 1745, 8vo.

Posthumous were: 3. ‘Twenty Sermons,’ &c., 1756, 8vo. 4. ‘Sermons,’ &c., 1758, 8vo (with life). He edited the ‘Works,’ 1729, fol., 2 vols., of William Beveridge [q. v.], prefixing a ‘Life;’ and contributed the account of the reign of George II to the 1740 8vo edition of the ‘Medulla Historiæ Anglicanæ’ of William Howell (1638?–1683) [q. v.]

[Funeral Sermon by Burroughs, 1755; Life prefixed to Sermons, 1758; Wilson's Dissenting Churches of London, 1810 iii. 257, 1814 iv. 370; Urwick's Nonconformity in Cheshire, 1864, pp. 117, 134.]

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