Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rudd, Sayer

RUDD, SAYER (d. 1757), divine, was assistant in 1716, ‘when very young,’ to the baptist church at Glasshouse Street, London. Later he was a member of Edward Wallen's church at Maze Pond, Southwark. There he was publicly set apart for the ministry, with laying on of hands, on 2 July 1725, as successor to Thomas Dewhurst at Turner's Hall, Philpot Lane, London. In 1727 the congregation of the baptist chapel in Devonshire Square was united with his own, which removed to Devonshire Square. In April 1733 he became much unsettled in mind, and applied to his congregation for leave to visit Paris. This being refused, he ‘took French leave.’ At this time he offered his services as preacher to the quakers, apparently having failed to grasp their leading principle of unpaid ministry. He then applied to the lord chancellor for admission into the established church, but his ambition being beyond the living of 60l. per annum, which was offered him, he finally studied midwifery under Grégoire and Dussé of Paris, and proceeded to the degree of M.D. at Leyden. On returning to London he had some practice, and attended and took down in shorthand the lectures of Sir Richard Manningham [q. v.] One of these, ‘The certain Method to know the Disease,’ he published at London in 1742, 4to.

Meanwhile the Calvinistic baptist board accused him of unitarianism, and issued a minute against him. He defended himself in three ‘Letters,’ published 1734, 1735, and 1736, and in ‘Impartial Reflections,’ London, 1735, 8vo. The board, which met at Blackwell's Coffee House, Queen Street, disowned him on 26 Feb. 1735. He then preached for two years at a church built for him in Snow's Fields by Mrs. Ginn. After her death in 1738 he conformed to the established church, and was presented by Archbishop Potter to the living of Walmer, Kent, and in 1752 to the vicarage of Westwell in the same county. He then lived near Deal, and kept a school. Rudd died at Deal on 6 May 1757.

Besides many separate sermons he published:

  1. ‘An Elegiac Essay on the Death of John Noble,’ London, 1730, 8vo.
  2. ‘Poems on the Death of Thomas Hollis,’ London, 1731, 8vo.
  3. ‘An Essay towards a New Explication of the Doctrines of the Resurrection, Millennium, and Judgment,’ London, 1734, 8vo.
  4. ‘Six Sermons on the Existence of Christ's Human Spirit or Soul,’ 1740, 8vo.
  5. ‘Defense of the Plain Account of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper by Bishop Hoadley,’ London, 1748, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1752, 8vo.
  6. ‘The Negative of that Question whether the Archangel Michael, &c. In a Letter to Robert Clayton, the Bishop of Clogher,’ London, 1753, 8vo.
  7. ‘Prodromus, or Observations on the English Letters. An attempt to reform our Alphabet and regulate our Spelling,’ London, 1755, 8vo.

[Wilson's Hist. of Dissenting Churches, i. 145, 439, iv. 42, 280–2; Christian Examiner, vi. 95; Hasted's Hist. of Kent, iv. 175; works above mentioned; Watt's Bibl. Brit. ii. 820 g; Nichols's Lit. Illustr. iv. 189–99; Gent. Mag. 1757, p. 241.]

C. F. S.