John Jortin

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John Jortin (23 October 1698 – 5 September 1770) was an English church historian.


Jortin was the son of Renatus Jordain, a Breton Huguenot refugee[1] and government official, and Martha Rogers, daughter of Daniel Rogers.[2][3] He was educated at Charterhouse School, and in 1715 became a pensioner of Jesus College, Cambridge,[1] where he became a Fellow in 1721. He was Rede lecturer at Cambridge in 1724,[4] and Boyle lecturer in 1749.[5] A churchman, he held various benefices, becoming in 1764 Archdeacon of London.[5]


Jortin briefly (1731–2) established a magazine, Miscellaneous Observations upon Authors, Ancient and Modern, in which he wrote on Spenser and Milton.[2] In 1722 he published a small volume of Latin verse entitled Lusus poetici.[1] Discourses Concerning the Truth of the Christian Religion (1746) was a work of Christian apologetics. His Remarks on Ecclesiastical History (5 vols, 1751‑73), has been labelled "the most significant Anglican ecclesiastical history of the eighteenth century"; written "from a markedly latitudinarian perspective", it was respected by Gibbon.[2]

Jortin mostly avoided controversy, though a dissertation on Virgil's treatment of the dead, by conflicting with Warburton's treatment, drew attack from Warburton's disciple Richard Hurd.[2] A two-volume Life of Erasmus (1758, 1760) drew upon Jean Le Clerc: "Jortin was in many ways a late representative of Christian humanism, as well as an active citizen in the protestant republic of letters".[2] Jortin published other miscellaneous pamphlets and tracts, and seven volumes of sermons appeared after his death. All his works showed learning, and were written in a lively style.

A collection of three volumes of his works was printed in 1805 and can be found at Internet Archive:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). [ "Jortin, John" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 513.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Young, B. W. (2004). "Jortin, John (1698–1770)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/15126. Retrieved 24 Oct 2008.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. s:Rogers, Daniel (1573-1652) (DNB00)
  4. Sir Robert Rede's Lecturers (and Mathematical Lecturers) Archived 2008-10-28 at the Wayback Machine
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Jortin, John (JRTN715J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource 

External links