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Tindal, William (DNB00)

TINDAL, WILLIAM (1756–1804), antiquary, born at Chelmsford on 14 May 1756, was son of James Tindal (d. 1760), captain in the 4th regiment of dragoons, youngest son of Nicholas Tindal [q. v.] James married Miss Shenton, who, after his death, was married to Dr. Smith, a physician at Cheltenham and Oxford. At four years of age William and his mother went to reside with her brother, a minor canon of Chichester, and six years later they removed to Richmond. On 19 May 1772 he matriculated from Trinity College, Oxford, and was elected a scholar in the same year. He graduated B.A. in 1776 and M.A. in 1778, in which year he was ordained deacon and obtained a fellowship, which he held until his marriage. After serving as curate at Evesham, he became rector of Billingford in Norfolk in 1789, and on 6 July 1792 he was also instituted to the rectory of Kington, Worcestershire. In 1799 he exchanged the rectory of Billingford for the chaplainship of the Tower of London. In the same year he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (Nichols, Lit. Illustr. vi. 772).

Tindal committed suicide at the Tower on 16 Sept. 1804 while in a state of mental depression. He married before 1794, and his wife survived him.

Besides writing several political pamphlets, he was the author of: 1. ‘Remarks on Dr. Johnson's Life and Critical Observations on the Works of Gray,’ 1782, 8vo. 2. ‘Juvenile Excursions in Literature and Criticism,’ London, 1791, 16mo. 3. ‘The History and Antiquities of the Abbey and Borough of Evesham,’ Evesham, 1794, 4to. The last work won high praise from Horace Walpole. Tindal is also said to have written a poetical essay in blank verse, entitled ‘The Evils and Advantages of Genius contrasted.’

[Chambers's Biogr. Illustr. of Worcestershire, pp. 567–72; Gent. Mag. 1794 ii. 836, 1804 ii. 389, 975; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886.]

E. I. C.