Redford, George (DNB00)

REDFORD, GEORGE, D.D. (1785–1860), nonconformist divine, born in Oxford Street, London, on 27 Sept. 1785, was educated at Hoxton College and in the university of Glasgow, where he matriculated in 1808 and graduated M.A. in 1811. In 1809 he was ordained in the congregational ministry, and was admitted to the pastoral charge of the independents at Uxbridge in 1812. There he originated, and for some time conducted, the ‘Congregational Magazine.’ He also, in conjunction with Thomas Harry Riches, compiled ‘The History of the ancient Town of Uxbridge’ (Uxbridge, 1818, and again 1885, 8vo). In June 1826 he succeeded the Rev. Dr. Vaughan in the ministry at Angel Street chapel, Worcester. In 1834 he was chosen president of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, and in 1837 delivered the congregational lectures in connection with the ‘congregational library.’ These attracted much attention, and were published under the title of ‘Holy Scripture verified; or the Divine Authority of the Bible confirmed by an appeal to Facts of Science, History, and Human Consciousness,’ London, 1837, and 1853, 8vo. He had previously composed the celebrated ‘Declaration of the Faith, Church Order, and Discipline of the Congregational or Independent Dissenters,’ which was adopted by the congregational union in 1833. In 1834 he received from the university of Glasgow the honorary degree of LL.D., and the degree of D.D. was afterwards conferred upon him by the university of Amherst, Massachusetts. In 1856 he resigned his charge at Worcester, in consequence of failing health, and retired to Edgbaston, Birmingham, so as to be near his friend, the Rev. John Angell James [q. v.] He died at his residence in Monument Lane, Edgbaston, on 20 May 1860. He was married and left issue.

In addition to the works already mentioned he wrote: 1. ‘A Defence of Extempore Prayer, and of the Mode of Preaching generally adopted by the Calvinistic Dissenters, in reply to a Sermon preached by [R. Hodgson] the Dean of Chester,’ London [1816], 8vo. 2. ‘The true Age of Reason: a candid Examination of the Claims of Modern Deism, containing a Demonstration of the Insufficiency of unassisted Reason to lead Mankind to Happiness, to Virtue, and to God,’ London, 1821, 8vo. 3. ‘Memoirs and Select Remains of the late Rev. John Cooke,’ London, 1828, 8vo. 4. ‘The Pastor's Sketch-Book; or authentic Narratives of real Characters,’ 3rd edit., London, 1829, 8vo. 5. ‘The Church of England indefensible from the Holy Scriptures, in reply … especially to two Discourses by J. Garbett, entitled “The Church Defended,”’ London, 1833, 8vo. 6. ‘The Great Change: a Treatise on Conversion,’ London [1844?], 12mo, with an introduction by John Angell James. 7. ‘Body and Soul; or Life, Mind, and Matter, considered as to their peculiar nature and combined condition in living things,’ London, 1847, 8vo. 8. ‘True Greatness: a Brief Memoir of John Angell James of Birmingham,’ London, 1860, 16mo, reprinted from the ‘Evangelical Magazine,’ with additions.

He was a contributor to the ‘North British,’ the ‘British Quarterly,’ and the ‘Eclectic’ reviews, and he edited ‘The Family and Closet Expositor,’ 1830; the ‘Evangelist,’ 1837, &c., in conjunction with Dr. Leifchild; C. G. Finney's ‘Lectures on Systematic Theology,’ 1851; and ‘The Autobiography of the Rev. William Jay,’ 1854, in collaboration with John Angell James.

[Berrow's Worcester Journal, 25 May 1860; Congregational Year-book, 1861, p. 230; Nonconformist, 30 May 1860.]

T. C.