Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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HUNT, Isaac, lawyer, born in Barbadoes, W. I., in 1751; died in London, England, in 1809. He was the son of the Reverend Isaac Hunt, rector of St. Michael's, Bridgetown, Barbadoes, and the father of Leigh Hunt, the poet. He was sent to Philadelphia to be educated, and in 1763 was graduated at the college in that city (now University of Pennsylvania). He read law, was admitted to the bar in 1765, and engaged in practice. In 1765 he applied to the college for his degree as master of arts, which was refused him by the trustees on technical grounds. He renewed his application the next year, but was refused on the ground of his being the "author and publisher of several scurrilous and scandalous pieces," among which were "A Letter from a Gentleman in Transylvania to his Friend in America" (1764), "A Humble Attempt at Scurrility," and "The Substance of an Exercise had this Morning in Scurrility Hall" (1765). All of these had been published anonymously. The trustees finally, in 1771, conferred the degree. At the beginning of the Revolution he became an active loyalist, and was at one time mobbed for pointing out to the owner of a book store a volume of reports of trials for high treason as a proper book for John Adams to read. He also wrote pamphlets in support of the crown, which led to his arrest and imprisonment, but he bribed the sentinel of the prison, and made his escape to Barbadoes and thence to England. He was soon afterward ordained to the ministry by Dr. Lowth, then bishop of London, and preached for a time in Bentinck chapel, Paddington. The Duke of Chandos heard him at Southgate, and was so pleased with his preaching that he invited him to become tutor to his nephew, Mr. Leigh, which the preacher did, and remained in the duke's family for several years. During this time Colonel John Trumbull, son of Governor Trumbull. of Connecticut, went to London to pursue his studies in art under Benjamin West. He was suspected by the government to be a spy, and was arrested and thrown into prison. Hunt, in conjunction with West, was chiefly instrumental in securing his release. Some years before Hunt's death he became a Unitarian. Besides the publications named, Hunt was the author of " The Political Family, or a Discom'se pointing out the Reciprocal Advantages which flow from an Uninterrupted Union between Great Britain and her American Colonies" (Philadelphia, 1775); and "Right of Englishmen, an Antidote to the Poison of Thomas Paine" (London, 1791). See the "Autobiography of Leigh Hunt" (London, 1870); and also the "Autobiography of John Trumbull" (New York and London. 1841).
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