Cheshunt college
Cheshunt College, Herts. (n.d.)
Photograph courtesy of the Trustees of Dr Williams’s Library

Welcome to the Database and Encyclopedia

 

The Database and Encyclopedia is a major digital resource for the study of the dissenting academies in the British Isles from 1660 to 1860. When complete it will contain historical accounts of individual academies, biographical articles about leading tutors, and biographical data for thousands of students educated at the academies over two centuries. It also provides the most comprehensive guide to archival sources for the study of dissenting academies ever created. Academy history articles provide authoritative institutional histories based on primary sources. Tutor biographies give comprehensive accounts of many major figures in the religious and intellectual history of Britain.

 

The database has been created by Inga Jones and Simon Dixon, with the technical assistance of Dmitri Iourinski, and under the direction of Isabel Rivers and David Wykes, and it contains contributions from leading scholars with specialist knowledge of the history of Protestant dissent in England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. Help has been given by many scholars, librarians, and archivists whose contributions are recognised on the Acknowledgements page.

 

New content will be added throughout 2011 and beyond. The finished resource will form an indispensable guide to the subject for researchers working in the areas of religious, intellectual, political, social, educational, and literary history.

 

The Database and Encyclopedia is the property of the Dr Williams's Centre for Dissenting Studies. Citations should take the form Dissenting Academies Online: Database and Encyclopedia, Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. Citations of academy histories and tutor biographies should follow the byline at the foot of the cited article.

 

Starting points:

  • To start reading Encyclopedia entries follow the links to Tutor biographies and Academy histories from the Resources menu. Among the articles already published are histories of New College, Hackney, Findern and Derby Academy, and Coward College. Biographies are available for John Dalton, Joseph Priestley, William Vint, and many others.
     
  • Use the Browse links and Quick search box to find information about 220 academies, more than 750 tutors, and nearly 9,000 students. Famous academy students include Thomas Malthus, Isaac Watts, and William Hazlitt.
     
  • Use Advanced search to find out how many academies there were in a particular county, the number of students who entered the ministry or other professions, and to perform a variety of detailed queries.